How do we learn to embrace change?

By Executive Director Steven Schedler, MSW, LCSW, CAADC, CCS

Change is inevitable. It seems to happen frequently in our lives, especially these days. And it can be difficult to know how to embrace – or even endure – it.

Because the truth is, many of us prefer to stay the course of the tried-and-true when faced with change. After all, change involves work. And don’t we work enough?

Additionally, in this season many of us are facing change while being isolated from people we love, which can cause the resistance to change to feel even stronger.

Change Within A Pandemic

The measured — and at times, abrupt — changes of life, love and work do not stop because of a pandemic. Which means all the changes of life now occur in the context of an ongoing situation that is already constantly changing.

Multiple layers of change are now enmeshed, moving, impacting, molding, shaping, as this third rock of ours flies around the sun, hurdling through outer space, in a very predictable way.

It seems enough that we could surely throw our hands in the air and declare our need for time and space.

And maybe that’s OK.

Finding Peace Within Change

For myself, I seek a brief respite yearly in a removed northern wood, with nary a human sound to be heard, a loon letting out a call to kindred birds, an occasional owl reminding the sleepy forest that she rules the night.

But however you or I refresh or connect with others, we must eventually return to regular life and press on. Here are some practical ways I’ve found to do that over the past few years:

  • Pay attention to what helps you feel refreshed or taken care of, and then incorporate those practices into your life on a weekly basis.
  • Seek to express gratitude for every interaction with the people you love, whether on a screen or in person.
  • Extend grace and empathy, both to yourself and to others.
  • Find creative ways to seek community, even amid isolation.

Can We Embrace Change?

Change will continue to happen amid our constantly changing milieu. We can’t stop it. But can we learn how to embrace it?

Can we use this time, this moment, to move forward in a fresh way? To come out on the other side somehow different. Perhaps in a way that makes our collective situation better in the long run?

That’s what our goal has been here at Samaritan, both personally and as professionally as we walk with individuals, families, companies, congregations, and communities grappling with the present moment and the changes that can overwhelm us.

Because we can learn to not just endure change, but to embrace it — together.



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