How to Live with Change
One of the greatest contradictions in life is that change is a constant. The Buddha teaches what has a beginning also has an ending. That’s true in our minds and bodies, in nature, in society – in every single way.
While transitions are an inevitable part of life, we often resist change because of the pain and uncertainty it brings. It’s our ego clinging to the illusion of control that makes it difficult to accept the impermanence of things. And as a result we suffer. But we don’t have to…
Life gives us the opportunity to practice change. Embracing the opportunity, rather than resisting it, allows for peace in the midst of uncertainty. If we get on board about the impermanence of things we will simply not suffer. It’s time to make peace with this fact. So, how do we work with the inevitability of change?
It’s spelled out for us in the Four Noble Truths (paraphrased):
Truth # 1 – Being a human is hard.
Truth # 2 – Being a human is hard…but how hard is based on our reaction to difficulty.
Truth # 3 – As humans we suffer, but it will pass.
Truth # 4 – Everything you need to end suffering you already have.
Using the Four Noble Truths, here are some things to do in your day-to-day life to make transition/ change easier:
Personify your ego. Acknowledge that your ego is a living breathing part of who you are as a human. Give it a name that is neutral and non-triggering. When you notice a resistance, or struggle, with change, notice Luisa is resisting change. Tell Luisa that although she exists, she does not get to drive the bus.
Feel your feelings. Once you notice Luisa is resisting change, go back to your body and observe your feelings. Pay attention to the ways Luisa resists change. For instance, when you look in the mirror in the morning, does Luisa whisper that you are getting old because your dark hair is beginning to turn gray? Pay attention to what Luisa is telling you to be afraid of and ask yourself why.
Let go. Go back to Luisa and re-parent her. Tell her, “I’ve got you. I’m in charge now, so you can take a rest. I know change is hard and scary, but we can handle it. My highest self is the new voice and the new path I’m carving.”
Find acceptance. Change comes with loss and it’s painful. And while Luisa wants to protect you from those things, she stands in the way of your highest and best purpose in this life. Know that change is inevitable, pain is impermanent, and real life is better than what Luisa is telling you. Everything you need to transition is within you.
Allowing for change and welcoming transitions in your life give you a distinct freedom those that suffer do not enjoy. Re-create, re-invent, re-lease, yourself from things that are not working in your life. When your instinct is to step on the brakes, listen to your fear, acknowledge the challenge in doing something new, and step on the gas instead.
Please contact Rachel Gordon if you have questions about Buddhist psychology and integrative, holistic techniques to address mental health issues and promote total body wellness. If you live in the Denver/ Castle Rock area and would like to learn more about what Rachel has to offer through Humble Warrior Therapy, please call (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule.
Tags: acceptance, Buddhist psychotherapy, Castle Rock, Change, Four Noble Truths, impermanence, Mental Health, self-improvement, Suffering