The Courage to Change
Change. I believe in change.
I think this belief originates from deep inside of me, right from my core. I remember that even back in my childhood accepting that something cannot be changed was, well, unacceptable for me. Whenever the grown-ups told me about something being “just the way it is” with an air of resignation, I remember naturally feeling this reluctance inside to accept that as a given. It always felt like it would go right against my nature to believe that there was something I cannot change. Of course there are things like eternal truths that cannot be changed, but that is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about things that we can perceive as unchangeable, as if we are stuck with them, forever helpless to change them. It’s those things we perceive as being outside of our power to do anything about them.
As a child and teenager I remember often feeling frustration over the grown-ups’ resignation, their surrender to what is – usually accompanied by hopelessness and discouragement. Now as a grown-up myself I can understand them better, as I have my moments of despair and frustration. I too sometimes fall into the trap of assuming I cannot change anything about a given situation that I dislike. Luckily I am blessed with this core belief I described before, which naturally makes me continue looking for where change is possible rather than seeing giving up as an option. I might stop, but only to gather my strength and figure out a different path.
This little prayer sums it up perfectly:
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
It describes that there is truly nothing you cannot change, as there are always two ways to change any situation: change the situation itself or change your reaction to it. One is not generally better than the other. As it says there, it takes wisdom to know which one is the right choice in any given moment.
Fun fact: as I was pondering what to write this week I noticed a situation arose in my life that plays exactly into what I am describing here. It makes me feel very uncomfortable and I am frustrated with my reaction to it, especially that I am not yet able to handle it differently. Seeing the connection so clearly invites humour and I am shaking my head in laughter how life always serves you whatever is to change next! I haven’t figured this one out yet. In fact my little grain of wisdom hasn’t even let me know what is to change here: the situation or my reaction or maybe both a bit? It takes time and patience sometimes to find the solution, but I do know I will figure this one out, too. Change is always possible and giving up is not an option!