Nothing says change like the current weather we have been having in Chicago. Today it was eighty degrees. Tomorrow it is expected that the temperature will drop at least twenty degrees. At least we are fortunate enough not to be expecting the May snowstorm to hit our neighboring states in two days. There is a truth behind the old joke, “if you don’t like the weather in Chicago, wait five minutes it’ll change.”
Image courtesy of Dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Anyone who has been in this area for any length of time finds that this adage is quite true. There has been fall weather which vacillates between snow and seventy degree. Other times a beautiful summer day can turn to rain quite suddenly. A true Chicagoan does not believe the weather forecast more than a day or two in advance since the weather forecasts tend to change abruptly as weathermen try to keep up with the ever-changing weather. Living through Chicago’s erratic weather has taught me a few things.
This Too Shall Pass
No matter how bad a storm is. No matter how much snow we receive. Give it a few days and the weather shifts into something new. This is also true of our lives. A car accident, health diagnosis, or relationship breakup may seem like the end of the world when they happen. We may only be able to focus on the incident and the pain or heartbreak it brings. We may think that this bad episode is all there is in the world. But the experience is only happening in a single point in time. It is an event, an instance, a moment. It is not permanent. It is not the end of the story. It is only a momentary passing. When we are experiencing a bad time or having difficulty adapting to a shift in our lives, we can often find some solace in placing our trust in knowing that it will not last forever. On the flip side, when things are wonderful we need to take the time to be in the moment and enjoy it fully, for alas, that too will change.
Nothing is Constant but Change
Change is so hard for so many. We often are lulled into a false sense of security because things were a certain way for so long. But life is change. Every season brings a change to our environment. The leaves budding on the trees will soon bloom full in the summer, change color, and then eventually fall harkening in the winter that will coat the limbs with snow. Things are constantly changing. We are constantly changing. Even though some things may appear to be consistent as having the same hairstyle for years, there is still change. Your hair is constantly growing and changing color with the sun and age. Nothing is ever the same from moment to moment. Nothing lasts forever, and that is ok. When one can let go the expectation of consistency, we can move with ease into a world that is every gently shifting to the new and the better.
Adapt to Change
A friend of mine in high school use to say, “Adapt or die you putzes!” Change can be more difficult for some because they are trying to handle the situation as they always have but the situation has changed. When summer turns to fall, it is time to trade in our shorts for pants and a coat. If we do not make this change, we are bound to be cold. Trying to hold on to the summer by wearing a tank top and shorts in November will only lead to a bad case of the chills. Over the past year, I have led some classes at the local library to help individuals who were recently laid off to find work. The individuals having the most problem moving forward are the ones expecting the economy to go back to the way it was so they could regain a similar position with a similar salary at a similar company. This will not happen. Although the economy may get better, the economic landscape has changed. There is a sense of safety sticking to what we knew. However, that safety is false. Be aware of the changing environment and find the strength to move forward.
Why not take a few moments to review what is changing in your life. What is gone? What is new? What is emerging? Look at how you are acting. Are you holding on to things that are now over? Are you afraid to jump into the new? Do your best to accept the new reality that faces you. Accept it, embrace it, and uncover the best way to be in this new world. Trying to fight change only brings pain and hinders you from moving forward. Moreover, if things are not ideal for you right now, wait five minutes, it’ll change.
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