in The Inconvenience of Change

The Inconvenience of Change: The Sour Grapes of Lost Control [Chelsie Guillemet]

you hold change in the palm of your handWithout change, where would we be?

As I read over your fantastic perspectives on change, I have to ask why we need so much help dealing with it. I mean, literally speaking, change is the continuation of life. No matter your perspective, you can’t ignore how change started the world’s engines-without it, you wouldn’t have breathed your first breath-or how it fuels our survival by providing ample scenarios for adaptation. Change is so pre-historically natural to life that we couldn’t possibly live here without acknowledging and accepting it; yet we seem to have trouble digesting it.

The initiator of change seems to be time. When Time began, it released a dynamic process of change called growth, which is equally unavoidable. There’s physical (read: biological) growth that develops Nature’s ability to survive; intellectual and emotional growth that allows man to recognize, and also resist, inherent realities like “change”; and there’s societal growth (or regression, if you’re so-inclined) that causes change in human systems like religion, culture, and nationalism. Growth exists due to the reality of change, and the forward-moving nature of Time.

Growth is the result of change over time

Let’s put two and two together. If growth is the result of change over time, doesn’t it seem silly for us to be afraid of change (and the passage of time)? I mean, we’re growing here! Isn’t that a good thing? So why do we resist it?

I think people actually want change-and we know we need it for survival, but another consequence of intellectual and emotional growth is this egocentric need for control. We LOVE it. In fact, we hate time to rush on without it, which means we have to control everything in our wee worlds. And most of the time, it just doesn’t work out the way we’d like. So, we hate the change instead of examining the way we handled it. Interestingly enough, we can have control, but not in the manipulative way we think of it. I’m saying that we can play god (gasp!), but only over ourselves. I’ll get back to that.

We’re now-people. It’s obvious, and you’ll definitely agree that our culture and its inventions give us every opportunity to continue in the “now” vein. So it follows that we don’t like giving change the chance to flesh itself out and reveal its direction. Nope. We want to control the movement of change. We’d love to stop it when it looks nice to us or pick and choose its results.

For instance, if I want a new car I’d be foolish to think my end of the deal stops at the sale. I have to think about gas, maintenance, title registration and renewal, and keeping it clean. The same with a house, going to school, getting a job, having kids (especially this one!)…even down to how we eat, what we do for exercise, and what we put into our minds.

In each area of life, our decisions tend to follow the same pattern. We like the immediate result of change, but often not its patiently waiting consequences. But with more forethought to each matter of change, we get a taste for what follows, we can see the reaction of our action! Brilliant!

Much like whether or not fearing change is rational, the responsibility of forethought (or, preparation) is something else for which we’ve received ill-instruction. But hey, there’s a remedy for that craziness:

Responsibility is the wonder drug for fear of change. Here’s how it works:

Fate? Free will? What about choice?

It’s my responsibility to choose what I think, how I feel, and what I do. See, I told ya you can play god. ;) I choose-and have a responsibility to choose- whether or not I allow certain harmful thought processes to continue, and I want to control them because I know how they make me feel. Controlling my thoughts links to controlling my feelings. I like to feel happy, loved, peaceful, and confident, so I dissolve anxious, fearful, insecure thoughts. This takes practice, I assure you, and comes more naturally to some than others as our various upbringings have programmed us toward certain thought patterns.

When you understand controlling your choice of thoughts, feelings, and actions, you stop letting circumstances affect you. Instead, you affect your circumstances. Choosing how you think, feel, and do is choosing your situation. Your chosen reaction to unforeseen circumstances is as much in your hands as any direct action. You’ll find that the more you can control yourself, the more accustomed you become to foreseeing your circumstances’ reactive consequences-and thus, the more comfortably you handle change.

You can choose not to let change affect you negatively. But you have to want to see truth in that. It’s an easy cop-out to say, it’s natural for me to feel fearful when things change, it’s natural for me to want things to stay the same. But what is natural, honestly? A stagnant environment? Or the ability to navigate the ebb and flow of change in our lives? If you need a reference, look at nature and take heart in its long experience. :)

ChelsieAUTHOR BIO: Chelsie and I met during our collegiate studies here in Nashville – crossing paths during our philosophical in-class discussions on Joseph Campbell, the journey of the hero, and the philosophy of the Matrix. She has an unmatched passion for life, and expresses herself beautifully through her writing and music. As an aspiring songwriter and musician, you can discover all that Chelsie has to offer over at her website – and all of you reading this should go give her a follow on Twitter.

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  1. Chelsie. I love this post. I think you really strip through a lot of the excess and get down to the core here. If change is a constant, if it always has been a constant, why do we fight it, resist it, and ignore it? It’s a pretty fascinating human dilemma. When you take a step back and look through time, change is inevitable – it’s GOING to happen, so we might as well learn to deal with it. Heck, think about our lifetime and the changes we’ve seen in technology. I can still remember the days of the Apple 2E and Oregon Trail, I remember a time before internet, I vividly recall when AOL Instant Messenger was the coolest thing ever and EVERYONE was on there. Now, these are all distant memories – technology is an integral part of the world we live in, both personally and professionally. It’s one example of dramatic change that has been realized, even in a short period of time.

    I think people always went through these struggles though, in fact I know they did. Their is always resistance, but in the wise words of the Borg ala Star Trek, resistance is futile. Eventually, someone will step forward and be an innovator, a catalyst for change. It’s when that happens, when someone steps out of the comfort zone, out of the routine, that others will follow, and real change occurs.

    I agree with your philosophy on choice. People have asked me about the topic of fate vs. free will – and I’m sure you and I have probably already indirectly discussed it through our philosophical studies. To these questioners, I atone to the theory of CHOICE. Life is about the choices you make. You determine your fate and plan your own free will through making choices. Will I stop at Starbucks for the morning latte or save $4? Will I quit my job or stay where I am, even though I’m unhappy? The list goes on and on. We’re faced with choices every single day of our lives – and it’s up to us, as individuals, to determine how to respond.

    Love this Chelsie – I think you can I could start a blog simply (or not so simply) debating life and all it’s philosophical good-ness. Cheers to you! And thank you for being a part of this.

    • Yeah AIM!

      But more seriously, you’re right, there’s always a resistance to any undercurrent of change. It’s almost like society is THAT scientific–always having an opposite, if not also equal, reaction.

      I know it’s not always comfy to talk about change, which leads to sugar coating, or digging up rationalizations for stagnation. But this is how we develop. We can only go forward, so we might as well bite the bullet, take change for what it is, and apply our own ideas of how life should feel.

      Thanks to you, Matt, for letting me throw in my two cents. We’re all crazy with the changes in our lives and this was a perfect outlet to step back and gain some perspectives. Very choice. :)

      :c:

  2. Chelsie. I love this post. I think you really strip through a lot of the excess and get down to the core here. If change is a constant, if it always has been a constant, why do we fight it, resist it, and ignore it? It’s a pretty fascinating human dilemma. When you take a step back and look through time, change is inevitable – it’s GOING to happen, so we might as well learn to deal with it. Heck, think about our lifetime and the changes we’ve seen in technology. I can still remember the days of the Apple 2E and Oregon Trail, I remember a time before internet, I vividly recall when AOL Instant Messenger was the coolest thing ever and EVERYONE was on there. Now, these are all distant memories – technology is an integral part of the world we live in, both personally and professionally. It’s one example of dramatic change that has been realized, even in a short period of time.

    I think people always went through these struggles though, in fact I know they did. Their is always resistance, but in the wise words of the Borg ala Star Trek, resistance is futile. Eventually, someone will step forward and be an innovator, a catalyst for change. It’s when that happens, when someone steps out of the comfort zone, out of the routine, that others will follow, and real change occurs.

    I agree with your philosophy on choice. People have asked me about the topic of fate vs. free will – and I’m sure you and I have probably already indirectly discussed it through our philosophical studies. To these questioners, I atone to the theory of CHOICE. Life is about the choices you make. You determine your fate and plan your own free will through making choices. Will I stop at Starbucks for the morning latte or save $4? Will I quit my job or stay where I am, even though I’m unhappy? The list goes on and on. We’re faced with choices every single day of our lives – and it’s up to us, as individuals, to determine how to respond.

    Love this Chelsie – I think you can I could start a blog simply (or not so simply) debating life and all it’s philosophical good-ness. Cheers to you! And thank you for being a part of this.

    • Yeah AIM!

      But more seriously, you’re right, there’s always a resistance to any undercurrent of change. It’s almost like society is THAT scientific–always having an opposite, if not also equal, reaction.

      I know it’s not always comfy to talk about change, which leads to sugar coating, or digging up rationalizations for stagnation. But this is how we develop. We can only go forward, so we might as well bite the bullet, take change for what it is, and apply our own ideas of how life should feel.

      Thanks to you, Matt, for letting me throw in my two cents. We’re all crazy with the changes in our lives and this was a perfect outlet to step back and gain some perspectives. Very choice. :)

      :c: