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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Accepting the Paradox of Change

The flickering flame and the trickling waterfall captivate and soothe our imaginations demonstrating we are fascinated by change, until it brings hurt. Then change is a pariah; she is to be an outcast, despised for what she brings. That change is something to be avoided.

We want to watch and read the news, monitor the sports scores, and generally keep up with the comings and goings of life (gossip); change breaks with boredom and we are sucked in to such stimulation, until, by change, life begins to hurt.

“Not many sounds in life... exceed in interest a knock at the door.”

~Charles Lamb

Though we may hate the sound of the phone ringing, or a knock at the door, we cannot help but be intrigued as to who may be on the other side; until, the bearer of bad news appears.

Change is Bittersweet

Anticipation of stimulation is, somehow, what we grow to expect. We watch for the postman, ever hoping to receive that mysterious brown-paper-wrapped package through the post. Our anticipation tends to be positive, so we don’t anticipate change for the negative so well.

As change is inevitable it is also bittersweet.

Much positive change, which are times where there are choices to change, or times when privilege bestows herself upon us, can still bring nuances of discomfort. Alternatively, there is a silver lining to every negative change—if we choose to see it.

But, just as we so often can’t choose for change, where the change is made for us, it brings dimensions of both good and bad. Even when we choose to change we have to endure discomfort before we experience the exhilaration of goal attainment.

Change That Hurts Forces Adjustment

The reason we hate some change is, quite simply, because it forces us to adjust—we are, for a time, often indefinitely, out-of-control in that way; none of us enjoys having decisions made for us. Times like this we are tempted to loath God.

Forced adjustment—especially where we lose someone or something dear—and that’s more common than we realise—is the sort of change we most studiously avoid. Forced adjustment implies grief.

Suddenly, life is taken out of our hands and we feel as prisoners, bereft of hope for that portion of life, for a period or indefinitely.

What can be done?

We have the opportunity to adjust our viewpoint—to see such forced adjustment as the situation that has good about it, somewhere. There are times we struggle to believe that. Only will we believe when we see with our own eyes and feel it within our own souls.

And where there is no good in the change we can only accept.


Change is a thing that either enlivens or despoils our hope. The difference is choice. It’s a great skill of life to deal with forced adjustment solemnly; to go with the flow of change that’s out of our control. Hope drives such our way of living. Wisdom is ever prepared to harmonise impending cases and times of forced adjustment in hope.

We’d like to think we can take the good with the bad; but change, too, will test this. But, that is the challenge of life: to accept what comes, the best we can, come what may.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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