Psychology

Change and how People Cope Coping with Change Challenges and Change Transistions



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Life is ever-changing.  Change is the only permanent thing we know.  If you seek stability, security, and permanence, you are in line at the wrong universe.  In this universe, change is what drives the cycles of your life from the day you are conceived, to the day you become dust once more.  Yet, there are great tools to cope with change,  as we shall outline here.

The hardest kind of changes are death, job loss,  divorce, extreme illness, or any thing that rocks our world out of kilter.  At first we deny change, then we resist it.  In time, with insight of knowing change is inevitable, we begin to explore ways to allow change to actually be our ally. Finally, we find acceptance with the change.

To reduce anguish, realize denial and resistance are painful, and can seriously debilitate your life.  If at the first blow of a disaster you readily accept change, if you know it will happen, you can find some degree of stability more easily.  You will develop the stability to align yourself with nature’s laws. Stars are born and die, planets are born and die. You, and everyone you ever met, is born and will die. Accepting it is a huge challenge, but entirely worth it because you let go of a struggle for impossible security.

Nature’s laws, or God’s laws, if you prefer, tend toward birth, entropy, and re-birth. What else could one do with eternity?  Death seems cruel, but could you live without killing plants that feed you, animals that nourish you, forests that house you, or anything, virtually anything, you can think of in your constantly changing mind?

How do some people sail through their troubles and others wallow in misery and despair?

When there is trouble, unemployment, divorce, a death, or something on a smaller scale, say your wallet is stolen, what can you control about that situation?

You can control only your reaction.  You can perfect only your acceptance. You can rise to work through all obstacles head on, or you can hide away for awhile until you realize there is no escape from life and from change.

In a larger sense, humanity, once we get past this nasty part about destroying the planet we live on, has and can, improve relationships with other living things. We have almost stopped slavery; we know war is not always so great, we finally see we like clean air, water and soil, and even the general shape of mountains and trees. We are learning to learn.

In the Sound of Music some nun said “When God closes a door, He opens a window.” In my home we say “When God slams a door, don’t worry, some window will probably shatter, and crash itself open.”   It all amounts to the same thing. We can look at the end of one episode as the doorway to another.  Every crisis is an opportunity.

Another life coping skill is to recognize that “This too shall pass away.”  The great times will then be more savored, beloved, and cherished. The dark times will then hold promise for brighter times ahead.

No doubt some of these things sound trite, even cliché, but think about it really hard, and perhaps the next change will be a change in new information.  Write about it if you come up with something better, or more true.

The last thing we all need to cope with change is to know there is no good or bad. The ideas of good and bad might have shallow meaning in conversational communication, but they are meaningless in the big picture. Was the meteor that destroyed most of life on earth “good” or “bad”? Dinosaurs had been around nearly 200 million years. They likely thought the meteor was kinda bad. But our early ancestors arose, so the meteor was “good.”  But surely you may say wars, and holocausts are bad.  They are VERY bad for those going through them, but then few of us would be alive today had not our mothers met our fathers, or our grandmothers met our grandfathers,  in WWII.  We seem to prefer to be alive. So what is good and what is bad?  It is always unknown, even in hindsight, it can become an improvement, a new life, or a tragedy as time goes by.

Acceptance of change is the key to coping with change. Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes life is a completely beautiful miracle. Just be brave, and you will be alright when the door slams and the window shatters.


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