Autumn has always been a time of change for me...much more than spring which is more of a time of beginnings. There is something about the cool, crisp air...the leaves in their fabulous shades of gold, orange, red and brown...drifting off the trees with slightest breeze. I love everything about it...packing away summer clothes, rinsing out the fall sweators, fall cleaning, fall colors....you name it, I love it. Was I a fall baby? Actually, no, I was a spring baby...but fall is where my heart is.
Fall is also the time we become introspective...we seek to go within, to identify changes we need to make in our lives...and change is inevitable. There is no avoiding it. Just as the world changes and the seasons pass, so must our lives. However, many of us do not take well to change. I know that personally, I've not done well with change. Not while I was younger and only after a good long fight. But if age has taught me one thing it is that the most important point to make about change is that it is not what you are facing that is the problem. It is you and how you react to change that is. Had I learned this lesson a long time ago, I could avoided a lot of inner turmoil and pain in my life.
The truth is that how you react stems from how you perceive the particular change. Speaking for myself, I spent many years in a go nowhere, dreadful job because I was afraid to embrace the change of starting over elsewhere--new job responsibilities, new people, loss of my sick and vacation time...virtually starting over in my fifties...but when I finally did, I found myself shaking my head. Why hadn't I made this change sooner? Well, at 62 years of age, I am still kind of set in my ways, but I feel that now I can call myself a wise old crone... Well, maybe not totally as wise as I would like to be; there is always more out there to learn. But, here are a few things that have worked for me when faced with the fear of change.
Take some quiet time to yourself to think about how the change will effect your life, how you are going to LET it effect you. What do I have to do to get through it? In my case, I knew I had to seek out more schooling before I could make a career change so I enrolled in an online college course to get my degree. And, I am a list maker. Whenever faced with the choice of making a change, I make a list of the pros and cons. What will I gain from staying put...and what will I lose?
When stressful changes seem overwhelming, take it one day at a time. Allow yourself to take all the time you need. Meditate. Breathe deeply. Seek the support of others. And above all, love yourself. Only then will you be able to live within yourself and be at peace.