"Things are going to change", a very popular phrase lately. With the reopening of many countries amid this pandemic, the world is noticing a very similar outcome: CHANGE. There is going to be a shift in how we do life, the way we shop, the places we can go; along with all the new restrictions and guidelines to follow. All of this got me thinking about what does "change" really mean in our lives.
We go through a lot of changes in the course of our life; from being babies, to becoming kids and later on teenagers. From being a high school student to a college grad. Living at home with our parents to venturing out on our own. We change friends, jobs, cities and even titles. I hope you get my gist that change is an inevitable factor of life.
I have come to notice although change is a factor of our life it has a starting point, you and I. Change in our lives can't happen unless we decide to make the change first in us.
Often times you're sitting down waiting for change and its like you were sitting down in the car with the engine turned off, and you're waiting for it to start; yet you're the one that has to push the button or turn the key. The car won't start unless you do the first action, same thing is with changes in your life.
You Have to Decide to Change.
I remember for a long time I struggled so much with my anger. I would get into horrible arguments and unnessecary fights just because I couldn't control it. I would let it burn like a wilderness fire. Yet, I got so tired that my relationships with people wouldn't change and it was always argument after argument. All that time I was expecting them to simply accept my way of being to avoid these fights, when in actually the secret to change my relationships was in me deciding to handle my anger. Only then did change begin to happen.
Same thing happened when I struggled with my anxiety and depression. I remember it was a spring night as I was telling my mom how I felt and what I was struggling with (because she had gone through it too) when she told me, "It's on you to get control of your mind and work on making the change". Only I could decide to fight against my anxiety and depression, she could help and support me but I was the only one who could truly spark the change.
The Only Person You Can Change is YOU!
My mom, as much as she may have wanted, couldn't go into my head and alter its thoughts. I had to be the one to diligently work in getting my mind right.
Often times, we're in my moms position, knowing a change needs to happen in someone yet we want to be the ones to make them change. Let me tell you right now, as much as you may be right in how that person needs to change, only they can change themselves. You can't do it for them.
Don't get me wrong, you can help and guide them in change but ultimately the only true control to activate that change is in that person.
I'm doing a bible study for wives called Becoming Mrs. Better-half, and Holly Furtick mentions how often times in marriages wives can be waiting and pushing for their husbands to change, yet the only ones we have the control to change is ourselves; and when we do, our marriages change because it sparks an influence.
Your Change Influences Change Around You
When you work on yourself to make a change, whether if it is in how you react, your perspective, how you talk, feel or even how you let things affect you; you will begin to see how it influences change around you.
I remember when I chose to handle my anger and not allow it to get the best of me, my arguments with others were 100% different. There was less yelling, and more listening, conversation and resolution. I don't get it right every time but it truly has made a difference in my life and the relationships around me.
When you work on doing your part in making a change inwardly, you will see that many times your circumstance maybe doesn't really change but you've learned a new way to handle or see it that it no longer feels like it use to... thats also a change!
Maybe a coworker use to get under your skin all the time, and you chose to change your perspective towards them, so now when they try, they see your not moved by it & have begun to leave you alone or approach you differently. Change.
It's not easy to start a change or to stay in the process of it but it's okay because change is never overnight.
Change Doesn't Happen Overnight
True and valuable change is a process, it takes hard work, and most importantly time. So be patient with yourself.
Lately, here in sunny South Florida, I have seen so many butterflies just fluttering around with their bright and colored wings. It so beautiful how they can can fly with so much grace yet it's crazy to think it wasn't always like that and it had to go through a process of change to become what I was now seeing.
Starting from a little egg, it transitions into a hungry, crawling, little caterpillar. Yet, it doesn't stay like this for long because it makes the decision to become confined in a cocoon as it goes through the process of metamorphosis (which basically means change). All with the goal of becoming a butterfly. This lifecycle can take from one month to as long as a year.
Like the butterfly, changes in our life take time. Yet if we stick through it, change will blossom in us and around us; and like the butterfly our change can even captivate the eyes and minds of others.
Yet, first it simply has to start with you.