Nobody likes unexpected changes. Even good changes leave us floundering for a while. We might think happy events would charge us with happy attitudes. Sometimes the opposite happens. An upcoming marriage is an awesome happening. Everyone is excited. If one checks on the viewpoints of the major players in this event, we discover not all parties are exuberant. There are many sad stories that result from these so called happy changes.
It isn’t that weddings are not in themselves joyful. The problem is these major occurrences in life bring about change and change brings alterations to our daily lives. We get comfortable with the way things are and any transformations, good or bad, leave us floundering. We can’t see into the future and we fear the unknown. We think, it might be worse instead of, it might be better. We are kicked out of our comfort zone so we panic and become full of anxiety.
Weddings bring forth cheerful gatherings, friendly people good food and new beginnings. They have the added hope of new life and grandchildren. There doesn’t seem to be room for any misgivings. There is adjustment. Our child is officially an adult, on their own, influenced by another person not of our picking. We fear losing influence, time, and connectedness with them.
We also fear our need to move on in a different direction because we no longer need to spend time nurturing our children, we have more time.
The newlyweds fear their decision to have chosen this individual to spend the rest of their lives with. They have doubts and questions. They fear being thrown into the adult role and taking responsibility for themselves, and their mistakes. It was easier allowing their parents to guide them, make the decisions and take the blame for anything going off track. They are anxious about paying bills, living with another individual and being accountable for their own lives. Reality is setting in and it is not a totally comfortable event.
Having a baby is another wonderful happening. It would appear to bring out only happy times. This is not so. Now we need to put another person before ourselves. We need to worry more about saving and paying bills. We must be more responsible in our behaviors because we are now influencing another human being. Our driving might improve and our driving speed may be slower. Our binge drinking has to end and thoughts about smoking and foul language take on their own importance. We begin to doubt our capability to accomplish this task.
Both of these wonderful happenings are evolving into nightmares because we are scared of the future and its changes. We liked doing what we wanted when we wanted and where we wanted. Doubts keep surfacing and we try to keep them to ourselves as if we are the only ones on the planet who are or ever did think this way. We are alone in our thoughts and afraid to share them because this is a favorable change.
New jobs, homes, friends and neighbors bring their own array of anxieties. They involve our breaking out of our mold and melting into something new. We are challenged to be unveiled and vulnerable. These things may be delightful but they leave us frightened about measuring up to the challenges we are facing. We fear that others can observe our faults, and failings.
If we look at the negative changes that happen to us they basically fill us with the same challenges and fears of transformation. A death in the family diminishes us. Our world is forever changed and we are forced to move in another direction. It is difficult to see beyond our own room. The person we loved is not walking among the living. We can’t imagine not talking to them or seeing them. Our world is disintegrating. Coping is difficult. We almost resent hearing the laughter of others we meet. How, we wonder, can the sun rise and the cars busily take people to work? People walk swiftly to and from their respective destinations and we want to shout, “Can’t you understand I’ve lost the love of someone close to me?” No one hears us in the silence and we go through the motions of another day wondering if the agony will ever go away.
In a similar way divorce is also devastating. Although it might be something we wanted, it is still an adjustment and an alteration in our lives. It is the death of a relationship and a love we had and believed in. It is in a sense similar to a death because it is the death of a love. It carries all of the pain yet garners little support from others who view this as a choice.
Job loss is a total displacement. Self-esteem is lost and how we define ourselves is over. Even a retirement can feel similar to a job loss. We are reinventing ourselves and fighting to claim a new position.
In all of these situations good and bad there are adjustments and modifications required. We have to amend our lives and or lifestyles. It is necessary to let go of what was and embrace the unknown. Things are different and variation is required. Conversion to new loves, friends, family, jobs and interests becomes paramount. Replacing our old ways or habits may be difficult but necessary. We are constantly developing. Each evolvement brings us closer to becoming a whole person. Unwrapping the layers of our lives, brings us to greater enlightenment. Perceiving the whole picture leads us to a grander understanding of our life’s purpose.
“Progress involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” Frederick B. Wilcox