Regardless of how big or small, each of us experiencing changes in some degree. As we navigate change, is important to create space and identify something beautiful in the midst of the change along with the emotions it brings.
A new year can bring mixed feelings. There is hope for what is possible coupled with the uncertainty of what is ahead. We make new year's resolutions that reflect the change and growth we'd like to see in our lives while knowing deep down that life can throw us a curveball at any moment.
It's reasonable to wonder what life will bring you over the next twelve months. What parts of life will change? What will remain the same?
As someone who appreciates a regular routine, change can be a lot for me. Can you relate? There are times in life where change is exciting and welcomed. A new friendship, a marriage in the family, or discovering a new favorite restaurant in town. We welcome these changes because we value what they bring to our lives — new memories, experiences, and insights about ourselves or others.
However, not all change is enjoyable or comfortable. A meaningful relationship ending unexpectedly. The loss of a loved one. A concerning health update.
Regardless of how big or small, we are all experiencing change to some degree.
Change can elicit a myriad of emotions: joy, pain, beauty, sorrow, contentment, discontentment, etc. These emotions are not mutually exclusive, either. A change in circumstance, such as moving to a new city for a new job, can bring about feelings of sadness as you grieve the familiarity of your old city and friendships that will change, along with a spark of joy and hope for the chance to grow professionally and establish new routines. This is the beauty of change. In the uncertainty, there is room for possibility.
Think about the season of life you are in. What are things that are changing for you right now in this season? What life changes are you experiencing or anticipating?
As we navigate change, it is important to create space to identify how we are feeling and what emotions we experience along the way. Think of the change you identified above. Now, take a deep breath and begin to notice what emotions arise: happiness, sadness, excitement, dread, hope, sorrow, pride, shame?
Don’t stop here. See if you can identify something beautiful in the midst of the change. As I’ve navigated more painful periods in my life, I have been surprised and even sometimes overwhelmed by the beauty I discovered once I gave myself the space to recognize it. An unexpected person who came to my side, a song or book that spoke to me in a new way, a memory I cherish more deeply.
There is a quote from John Maxwell that states, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” Change is one of few certainties in life and, while many of us dread it, it is an opportunity for growth in our life if we allow it.
Take a moment to reflect on a time you have navigated change in the past. Think about what was helpful and unhelpful during that time. Remembering the times you were able to successfully navigate transition can provide encouragement to your present-day circumstances.