Change for Good

Mar 4, 2016 by

Change for Good

Change for Good

Old shoes. A comfy pair of sweatpants. The house you grew up in. So comfortable, so easy to put on, so … so … familiar. Familiar is good. Familiar is comfortable. Familiar is not threatening. Familiar is Certain. You know the feeling when you put on something familiar. There’s no sense of anxiety, no worries, it’s all so … so … easy. We all want easy … sometimes. We don’t want easy when we are trying to Change for Good

Shoes, sweatpants, and old rooms are not the only things that we put on because we’re familiar with them. Our behaviors and emotions come in all sorts of flavors as well. And familiar is one of those flavors. Do you have hot buttons that get you mad … a familiar pattern? I know I do. Do you have thoughts that get you sad … a familiar pattern? I know I do. Do you have a way you think or speak that can instantly create a feeling? Predictably … familiarly? I know I do

Growth doesn’t come from being familiar, doing familiar, experiencing familiar. Growth comes from pushing your boundaries, getting into uncomfortable situations, being uncertain. Being unfamiliar. Growing is what we all do. Whether it is growing up when you are a kid (and sometimes as an adult), expanding your view of the world, or growing your internal universe. We all want to become the next better version of ourself whether we know it or not.

And to grow we must change. Not just a temporary change, but a permanent change. A change moving from a child to an adult, an acorn to a tree, or from you to a more awakened you. And that change sometimes means abandoning the familiar and venturing out into the frightening waters of uncertainty.

In the musical Wicked Elphaba & Glinda both realize they have changed because of each other. Changed in ways they couldn’t have imagined. And now as they part they realize what they’ve learned.

As Glinda says in the song above:

I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you

Pooh Bear & Piglet Change for GoodThe people who come into our lives, the situations we allow ourselves, the paths we explore all let us change. And some of those people, places, or things allow us to Change for Good. They kick off a moment in us that won’t allow the old familiar patterns any more, but allow a Change for Good, a Change for the permanent, a Change that you won’t allow slip back into familiarity. There is a wonderful but sad poem entitled “Reason, Season, or Lifetime” that talks about who we find to help us to the next stage. It’s an variant of: “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”

So here’s my question: “What has/is/or will drive you to change?” Is it a someone, a some place, a some thing? Can you acknowledge and be grateful for that thing knowing how frightening it is that it has made you let go of your familiar and nudged you in the direction of a new you? It’s gratitude and looking at things through a lens of appreciation that will give you the strength to Change for Good.

See you on the wire

— Steven Cardinale

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