The Importance of Intergrating Change Gracefully

About ten years ago, I very consciously and actively started to pursue my inner-world.  Up until then, I had never quite fit in.  While others my age went to college and stated a career path, I went backpacking through Asia and lived in amazing places.

I did eventually go to college and grad school and was called a “non-traditional student,” which meant that I was older than the bulk of the student body.  I loved that moniker.  As I later saw, I responded to the matter-of-fact title for what had felt like a misfit lifestyle.

Learning and growing are imperative to me.  If you are reading this, you likely can relate.  Sometimes this drive can alienate others who simply don’t “get” it.  I have become at peace with that.

When we do change, it affects our loved ones and our communities.  We hope that our impact is positive, but we can neither predict nor control how our change will be viewed.

Sometimes we wanted our loved ones to understand our inner experience but feel frustrated by an inability to translate it into words.

When we change, there are several common responses:

1. Sometimes we have changed but forget to tell others!

My Mother-in-law searched all over Dubai for white gold because years earlier, I told Vj that I did not like diamonds and yellow gold.  I had since changed my mind but had never told him.  His effort to take care of me caused great inconvenience for his mother.

It never occurred to me to let him know that I now liked yellow gold.  I was not aware that his mom was expending a huge effort.  When I saw the jewelry, I then understood that she had gone to a great deal of trouble to live within a restriction that I no longer held.

2. We try to explain the unexplainable

When we have a life-changing experience, it is very hard to translate the unseen through words.  We may come home to our sweetie very enthusiastic and feel disillusioned because they cannot understand what transpired.  We can be gentle and let them know that we had an amazing experience and ask them to look for subtle changes over time.

3. We feel superior or more advanced

This is really tough.  Many times people will leave a relationship prematurely because they feel that their partner will never catch up with their own progress.  I have seen this happen in many relationships lately.  The mind convinces the changed person that their partner is a hindrance or dead weight.  Sometimes this can be true, but all too often, this decision is made very hastily without the breathing room of months or years to allow for the balancing process.

4. The most important is to lead by quiet example.

I have had hurdles in my life that caused friction in my relationships.  While I sometimes had an awareness of these hurdles and a sincere desire to overcome them, I often lacked the resources or the readiness to transcend them.

There were many times that I spoke of this sincere desire to change, but simply was unable to.  There were also times that I said I was ready to change, made a strong start and never followed through.  This made others skeptical of my word.  I now see that leading by an excellent and humble example is very powerful antidote to previous false promises.

The problem is that this requires a ton of patience! Sometimes it takes a long time before people see the change in us!  Resisting the urge to get a megaphone and tell them how great we have become is a coup over the ego!

Your Assignment:

When you feel change in yourself or around you, can you relax into it and take it easy?  Can you also resist the urge to convert those around you and simply lead by a great example?  Can you be patient with others who have not had access or willingness to experience what you have?


2 Responses to “The Importance of Intergrating Change Gracefully”
  1. Carol says:

    The hardest part of our ever changing lives and relationships, is when the other person has no desire to change or move forward with you. Yes, we may be patient and hold ourselves back slightly in the hope that our mate will see the NEW YOU and want to be part of your NEW life. If we make every effort to accomodate our mate in our New lifestyle and they simply refuse to go along with you, then I say, It may not be the relationship for you! Age and each individuals place/time in life can be a detrimental factor to a relationship. In the beginning when life is all roses and wine, we don’t look at these complications that may occur as we age. Then, sadly, as time passes, we change and we may desire different things due to our age and this can be the start of major trouble. Compromise is what is required, but not to the extent of one person having their own way most of the time and the other giving up their plans, thoughts and desires. Regret will set in over time if we are not allowed to grow and pursue our desires in order to achieve our dreams and goals. No one enjoys the heartache of a broken relationship, but time heals! The agony of a life spent in the wrong relationship, wanting to move forward, too afraid to be yourself, too afraid to make the break, is ongoing and more painful then the sudden break up! No one ever said Life was meant to be easy, but we should have fun and make the most of every possible day.

  2. pamela says:

    change is inevitable even when youdont want things in our life to change. sometimes we just have to trust God in the decisions of life.

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