Change Happens. Change can be difficult. We all experience it. Life and circumstances happen. Much of it we cannot control. As children, we could not prevent our parents from divorcing. We could not understand why our friends from elementary school stopped wanting to hang out with us when we reached junior high. These changes in our lives shaped who we are…for better or worse.
My problem with change was that I could not control it. I struggled with this lack of control for many years. I felt as though if I was not in control, then I was failing. Negative changes were somehow my fault. Even positive changes were somehow undeserving.
I then discovered the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and Wisdom to know the difference.
This prayer has helped me understand change. Instead of worrying, I welcome change. It has taken time and practice. I now know that I cannot control everything, especially other people. I can only control how I react to change or situations.
Accepting that I cannot control every aspect of life or fix every problem is a great relief. Five years ago, I would not believe this. I would take on the world’s issues and other people’s problems as my own.
Now, I find peace in not having all of the answers. Instead, I focus on what I can do to help. I try not to react negatively. I try to look at the positive in everyone and everything. I seek the lesson that can be learned with change. I also see that how I react sometimes does impact how others behave and the ultimate outcome of a given situation.
Everyone in the world is facing a Great Change. We are in the space between what was and what is next. Some call this the “liminal space,” which Richard Rohr describes as:
[A]n inner state and sometimes an outer situation where we can begin to think and act in new ways. It is where we are betwixt and between, having left one room or stage of life but not yet entered the next. We usually enter liminal space when our former way of being is challenged or changed—perhaps when we lose a job or a loved one, during illness, at the birth of a child, or a major relocation. It is a graced time, but often does not feel “graced” in any way. In such space, we are not certain or in control.
This Great Change is testing all of us. We do not know how the Pandemic will change our life and the world as we know it. While we cannot directly control the actions of our leaders and others, we can control how we react and how we can grow from this.
We don’t have to feed into the negativity of our so-called leaders and those who wish to use this Pandemic as a way to further divide us. Instead, we can becoming aware of our own strengths and weaknesses and those of our institutions. We can focus of the best of humanity. We can appreciate what we have and those we love. In doing so, we see the changes that we want to make and need to make in our own lives. Hopefully, this will be a change for the Good.