I've been discussing change with a friend the last couple of days and I told her that I had a theory. Actually, if truth be told, I consider myself a expert in the subject matter of change. I know all about it, but I still don't like it. Change sucks. It is at the very least uncomfortable and at the very worst devastating. The problem with change is that we have to give something up and no one likes to surrender. Even when the change is for the better. Even change that is expected and inevitable is difficult. Transitioning from one state to another requires some work, hope, trust, risk and time. (Worst of all time, because we usually can't define that either.) Think of a high school graduate. You know it's coming and it's something you've worked for your entire life but now that it's here you're not so sure you want it because it's going to force you into transition. But you can't stop it now, nor should you. You have to take the risk. "You can't steal second base with your foot on first." I firmly believe that what we say, do and think helps to define us but it is not our full story. It is only a part of our identity. When we change anything in our lives, we change a part of who we are. That's scary. Even when the change is for the better we have to say goodbye to a portion the old us and frankly we really liked the old us and are sad to see her go. This is one of the biggest issues concerning weight loss. We get comfortable with our bodies and our eating habits. Intellectually, we might understand that losing some weight and eating a better diet is healthier and that we'll feel better but we're afraid of what that will look and feel like because it's new and different. We're not quite sure we'll still be the same after such a change. This doesn't apply just to our view of ourselves, but how others view us as well. We all know of a friend who "got skinny" and turned into a stuck-up snob. (Did she really, or did we project that onto her? Hmmm... another post, another time.)
I talked about this a lot in December when football came to an abrupt end for Steel. We knew it was coming, but it didn't help at the time. He has played his whole life and to think that he may never strap on the pads again was devastating. It was a part of who he was but it didn't totally define him. Don't get me wrong, I am forever thankful for the opportunity. Sports has helped to build the strong character of who Steel has become and will help him to achieve his future goals. That fact does not change because he will no longer participate. The effects are permanent and for that we will be forever thankful for the opportunity and the experience.
The bottom line is that we all change. Some is self-inflicted and some comes at us whether we want it or not. Everything that lives, changes. The choice on how we respond to that change is up to us. And the response during the transition is as important as the outcome. It's inevitable, so we might as well learn to cope. I read this quote quite some time ago and thought it so perfect. "Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become."