The Acceptance of Change

A theme that has been on my mind lately is that of change. In particular, the theme has been resistance to change versus acceptance of change. 

As human beings we have a tendency to want to fight change. We get comfortable with where we are, what we have, and with what is predictable. 

Change means moving into the unknown. It means not knowing what will come. It means we do not control the outcome (not like we ever truly have any control over outcomes anyway). It means we are moving into uncharted territory. 

For some people, change can be really exciting. However, for most of us, change can be very scary and we want to resist it as much as possible. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. We can find a way to go within ourselves and accept change yet still remain stable in ourselves, just as the large oak tree stands solid and tall regardless of which way the winds blow. 

I read recently a phrase about caterpillars being jealous of a butterfly. Actually, the exact quote from author Dean Jackson goes like this: “When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she always had been. But she had wings.” I’m going to use this quote as my analogy for change and the importance of welcoming and accepting change into our lives, but without giving ourselves up in the process.  

The first part speaks of change as transformation. When we welcome and accept change into our lives, we do not know what beautiful transformation we may undergo. Just like seeds planted in the soil  transform into little seedlings, and then go on to become beautiful flowers or nutrient giving fruits and veggies, transformation is a wonderful thing.

The caterpillar/butterfly and the seeds/plants teach us that change and transformation are for the better. The not so beautiful caterpillar when it is ready goes inward into a dark cocoon so that it can emerge as a beautiful creation of nature which many people love to admire. The seeds that appear to be nothing go into the ground and with the proper care and nurturing become the plants that sustain life. 

What would happen to the world if caterpillars resisted their transformation and if seeds refused to grow?

 And what would happen to you if you resisted the changes that you were being asked to make in your life?

Just pause and think about that. 

How do you know that the changes you are being faced with making are not going to lead you to transform into beauty and joy? How do you know that once you come through the changes your life won’t be better and more fulfilling? 

You don’t. 

All you can do is accept the fact that you are being faced with changes and accept them with an open-mind. 

A prayer to help with change:
God, Grant me the Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to Change the Things I can,
and Wisdom to Know the Difference.

This might be easier said than done and it might be challenging to think that you can remain true to yourself while being faced with change. That’s why I have listed below a few ways to learn to accept changes without giving yourself away:

Pause. Take a deep breath. And know that everything will work itself out in the end.
Remind yourself that change is a way to growth, discovery, forward movement, and healing. 
Follow the example of the butterfly that builds a cocoon around itself and do two things: 

          1. Surround yourself (cocoon yourself) with loving, supportive people who love you unconditionally, and
          2. Go inward and reflect on the fears you have about making this change. Then ask yourself what   would happen if those fears were not there. Also in this time of inward reflection, ask yourself what it is that you truly want, and set the intention of getting your desired outcome into the Universe.

 After this, you may need to cycle back to Pausing. Taking a deep breath. And knowing that everything will work itself out in the end. 

Have trust and feel free to cycle through these steps as many times as necessary until you are able to come to peace with and accept the changes you are being asked to make in your life. 

Jackson’s quote also contains a second part which is important to note: the fact that others may not like it when you are experiencing a change or a transformation in your life. Others want you to stay as you are and your change can be scary to them. This is why it is crucial to go inwards to find what you want and to surround yourself with people who truly love you unconditionally. Be selective with whom you share your thoughts about your change and your transformation process and only chose those people who you truly trust. But most of all, trust in yourself and that the conclusions you came up with are the best for you. 

The final part of Jackson’s quote is about the fact that the butterfly has wings. So, accept the changes in your life, trust in yourself, spread your wings, and fly! You never know what beautiful transformation may come if you resist making the change. 

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