Today’s blog is in response to a request. “Karen, can you write about change?” Oh my, change, no matter what the change is can bring different responses. Change can bring great joy, ambiguity or great stress. Even change that we ask for can cause us to be unsure, afraid, and excited all at the same time. Change is usually coupled with new responsibilities and differences which can be hard to identify at first.
When we experience changes in our lives, some are greeted with a sense of relief. Only you know those times in your life when things were tough and you made a decision to do something about it. Possibly you threw your hands in the air and said, “Enough is enough!” I have made the decision that this will not happen anymore and you became the catalyst for change. As much as you know this was necessary, there were more questions than answers, more mystery than common stability.
Oftentimes change surprises us. The event may be celebratory or filled with grief. But, no matter what, we are different afterwards. How can I write about the essence of change? Because, like every other human being, I’ve experienced it too. Over and over, some change was welcome, some vilified. I think the ability to handle life-change may have a lot to do with our personality type or possibly how we were raised and our life experiences. However, I do know we all handle it differently. I’ve taken many classes to learn about life change. I’ve had my own life experience, and have also helped others to either welcome or learn to live through change. I don’t much appreciate it when there is an expectation that everyone will respond to the same thing similarly. None of us truly knows all the dynamics that bring us to today and today’s response, or for that matter the thought of tomorrow.
For me, most change is welcome. I have always signed letters and now this blog, “Enjoying the Adventure!” Rather than think of change as imposing it’s way upon me, I look ahead wondering, “What’s next?” Therefore, when change occurs, I’m more likely to embrace it. Although, there are some very serious instances where I just wanted to tuck my proverbial tail between my legs, shiver, hide under the carpet and hope that I would wake up only to find that I was having a nightmare. I’d be a fool to pretend that all change has been welcomed and it would be deceiving to write in such a way.
Let me give an illustration through a gift I recently received. While away last weekend, we had the opportunity to watch a demonstration of a tree being sliced into slats of wood. It was a poplar tree. The event was amazing to me as I have been a woodworker most of my adult life. The tree itself had a very light colored wood, not a whole lot of character, other than a knot in the wood every now and then. It is pretty, and it could certainly make a nice piece of furniture but not extraordinary.
Then the next slice was made. The stunning piece of wood hidden deep inside this tree was so fantastic that they stopped the demonstration so that the folks gathered could walk up and see it’s beauty. I am an observer of people and what I noticed is that after about a half hour of gazing at what had been hidden by the mundane, the people were in true community. They were talking about the beauty of this wood, then conversations evolved. The people were talking and laughing together, some knew each other well, others were total strangers, but this revelation of beauty brought peace in the woods that day. There was beauty within that we all enjoyed and were touched by. May I remind you that this beauty was revealed by a huge band saw cutting 2 inch slices into this tree? Is it even remotely possible that our life band saws cutting into our ordinary stable lives may feel quite painful, but also have the opportunity to bring about something incredibly beautiful?
Please take a look at the board pictured above.
Now, let me reveal what the next slice (The other side of the above board) revealed.
How can something with such nice, but not extraordinary character have such beauty so close, so hidden. This basically white board had deep mahogany, purple, gold and gray colors. Somehow that basic pattern of wood became one of the most unique and beautiful specimens I have ever encountered. I feel so privileged that it was given to me as a gift. When I make something with it, (I’m not quite sure what yet) I think that it will have to be displayed in such a way to see both sides to remind me that there may be incredible beauty hidden in the most surprising places.
So, what about change? It happens. If we think that all will remain “as is” we kid ourselves. Sometimes change brings great pain and grief. Even that pain can be something we look back on and say, “Wow! If I only knew that it would lead me to where I am now!” If we walk in the reality that we know change, good and bad, will come so that we are not surprised by it
, we may be more able to accept and possibly even walk through even the most difficult change knowing that we can do it! We can adjust! We can find our lives rich and full once again.
I hope that as you experience change that you can look forward, find peace and yes, know it will visit us again.
Enjoying the Adventure,
Tree Photo by Pixabay, Pexel