"Beginning All Over Again": Handling Difficult Changes
If you must change, here are some resources for you:
How to recognize and deal with the moment that
changes everything that follows it.
Coping with changes that are required by encountering
life's inevitable turning points.
What is it that really creates change which is both
permanent and beneficial.
How to assess whether the old situation or the new
changed circumstances are better.
On August 9, 378 CE, the Romans lost the Battle of
Adrianople marking the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire as well as
the rise of barbarians.
"The moment that changed everything": that is what really happened
The Impossible is Possible:
"Spread the word: the Romans have
been defeated! The impossible has finally happened!"
This was the chant that spread across Europe
and Asia from one barbarian tribe to another. Adrianople was less
significant as a victory in battle than as a defeat in mindset. For
decades, the Romans had been coasting on their former track record of
success in battle and the belief that they were invincible. Adrianople
destroyed that belief forever.
The nature of life is that
karma opens matrices -
ways of life and being - for the learning of all concerned. When the
Roman Empire could no longer deliver those lessons, it fell. This happened
so that the new matrix of the barbarian experience could be created. After
Adrianople, the balance of power shifted from the Romans to the barbarians.
When an Adrianople-like event happens to you, you will know it because
your life will be forever altered.
Turns on a Dime:
Even in modern times, life can turn on a dime.
Adrianoples are everywhere: when a loved one is killed in a car accident,
when you are diagnosed with a deadly disease, when you give birth to a
child with a serious illness, when you lose all you have in a natural
disaster, and so on. Even though we come to Earth to experience all
these things, when we find ourselves Adrianople-d it is always painful
to realize our life has been forever altered.
Flow with Change:
When an Adrianople-like event happens for you,
the best thing to do is flow with the change. Instead of trying to recover
the past, recognize that it is much better to flow with the change and
to make your future the best that it can be. Hanging onto a past that
can never be again will only end up breaking your heart and wasting your
energy. Let go of the bad things change has brought you and look for
the good things instead... because there are good things.
For many in the America, the worst Adrianople-like
event was the Great Depression of the 1930s. And yet more millionaires
were created at that time then at anytime since. For those who can be
open to the fact that things have changed -and- can take advantage of
that change, Adrianople-like events can offer great opportunities for
those who are open to them and are willing to change.
"There is nothing in this world constant but inconstancy."
Life is full of turning points. Each time we get to one,
the natural question is "Now What?!"
Life's Toughest Days:
While you are on Earth, the only thing that never
changes is that...
things will change.
That is the nature of life. Here are some turning
points after which people are especially apt to ask "Now What?"
Graduating from school:
changing from being a student to becoming
an adult and creating new life.
- Children leaving home:
changing from a full time parent caring
for kids to a distant parent advising them.
- Recovery from a serious illness
experiencing illness to becoming healthy.
- Concluding a legal process:
changing from focusing on a trial
(police, government, divorce) to living life.
- Retirement from a long time job:
changing from being a full
time employee to having total free time.
- Losing something precious
(mate, child, house, money, etc):
changing from grieving the loss to accepting it.
All of the above situations have one thing in common: you must change
and there must be (some) action to effect that change. It is your
choice as to whether you make things happen (by choosing what you will
do) or just allow them to happen (by falling in with what others choose
Most of the
in the world comes from one person
forcing their choices on another person.
Most of the good karma
in the world comes from one person
choosing their path in life and deciding how their path can make
a positive change in the world.
So when you find yourself asking
the question, "Now what?", here are some empowering things to do:
- Ask yourself:
what would I like to do with my time and life energy
now? Once you decide, just do it!
- Ask yourself: what do I feel passionate about
now? Then go out
and pursue and follow your passion.
- Ask yourself: who would I like to get to know
opportunities to be-become their friend.
- Ask yourself: where can I go for recreation?
Find classes, learn new things, and put them into
- Ask yourself: how can I help make the world
better? Do what opens your mind and expands
"Today is the changing day in your life." (Dr Phil)
What makes a day the changing day in your life? It is
your willingness and readiness to change.
Only from the Inside:
Individuals can only change themselves.
As much as someone might want to change another and as much as that desire
comes from the deepest place of love, lasting change only comes from within
an individual. Change that is imposed from the outside never lasts. It
stops when the outside pressure driving the change stops. Only when someone
agrees to change - because of the desire to change comes from inside their
heart - can lasting shifts be made.
Recognition of Failure:
Individuals usually are motivated to change
only when they recognize that what they have been doing is not working. It
is the failure of the past that opens an individual up to change in the
future. As long as someone is convinced that what they are doing (or not
doing) is serving them, they are not ready or willing to change that
behavior. Being willing to change means taking action both to do (old)
things differently and to do (new) different things.
Openness to Advice:
Long before individuals act on advice, they
start by listening to it and considering it. Often, advice is a like a
friend: it takes time to believe it and trust in it. The real changing
moment is when the individual moves from just thinking about change to
doing it. Whether they take advice from someone else or come up with
ideas on their own, the change process has begun.
Willingness to Act:
Why change seems to take so long is that
people mostly think things to death before they act. While action flows
more smoothly when it is thoughtfully planned in advance, nothing changes
unless action is taken. Why people need to think things through is to
create the willingness to act. Before any action can be taken, the
willingness must be there. So often the lack of willingness to act
blocks the action through endless cycles of procrastination.
The changing moment happens when action is taken.
Change happens because the benefits of the new way of doing things
outweighs the risk of continuing the old ways of failure. It is a
spiritual principle that an individual is truly ready to change, their
whole world will change along with them.
"All things must change to something new, to something
different." (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Change is not automatically good it is only different... and may or
may not be better for you.
People think that change is good.... Here is a tool to assess whether
the old or new (changed) situation is better:
1> Think of the old situation and list the top 3 things that you
LIKED about it... yes, I mean liked about it... because you are never in any
situation unless it served you somehow.
2> Think of the old situation and list the top 3 things that you
DISLIKED about it... yes, there must be some dislike present -or- the
universe would not be moving you in the direction of change.
3> Think of the new situation and list the top 3 things that you will
GET from it... yes, if you were not going to get something from the situation
than you would not be inclined to change.
4> Think of the new situation and list the top 3 things that you will
GIVE to it... yes, change means that you are going to have to give something
to the new situation to effect the change.
5> Compare the old to the new: Are you LIKING your old situation more
than what you think you will GET from the new situation? Which is more
attractive in this comparison: the old or the new?
6> Compare the old to the new: Are you DISLIKING your old situation more
than what you think you will GIVE to the new one? Which is more
attractive in this comparison: the old or the new?
7> Compare the positives (LIKE-OLD & GET-NEW) to the negatives
(DISLIKE-OLD & GIVE-NEW). Then decide whether the positives outweigh the
negatives or vice versa. Go with the winner.
if I love my old work but dislike the money -and- I
love the money but am lukewarm about the new work... what do I do?
I compare these choices and decide I love my old work so much more than
the money from the new work, then the overall winner is staying with the
old work... because the positives of the old situation absolutely outweigh
both the benefits of the new situation as well as the downsides of the
old situation... then it does not pay to change. Yet, if these
circumstances were reversed, it would pay to change...
Using this tool will help you decide whether making a change is good
or whether it is better to stay the same.
Remember change is not always
better, it is always different. Only you can decide if the change is
for the better or not.