Responding to Change: Who’s in Control?
We’ve all heard the old saying that states the one constant in life is change. Change is inevitable. But sometimes it can be challenging to accept. Even if the change in your life is one that you have chosen, you may still feel that you have lost control over your life's direction. And if you did not initiate the change, you may feel even more threatened, hopeless or confused.
Spiritual teachings promise us that we always have choices, no matter how limiting our situation appears. The choice may be to walk away from the situation, to upgrade our skills to better meet it, to find assistance, to network, to wait it out. The lessons of this situation may be to face the fear of loss, failure, the unknown, embarrassment, or of taking risks. Our ultimate choice is to decide how we are going to face this fear. Once we have met and "stared down" our greatest fear, it no longer has power to secretly influence our behavior in ways that are destructive to us.
We cannot control life. We can only face our problems and decide that we will learn what we can from them—and what attitude to take. But we do not have to face them alone. We can find support and engage an ally to help us examine our difficulties for the life lessons and spiritual maturity they offer us.
The exercise below can help you sort out your issues around controlling the change occurring in your life. Use a paper and pencil to write out the answers to these prompts.
1. Identify the change. Write down the change you are experiencing now or in the foreseeable future.
2. Decide levels of control. On your piece of paper, make three columns.
What I can control
What I can somewhat control
What I cannot control
3. Make lists. In the appropriate column, list the issues you are dealing with according to your ability to control them.
4. Focus. Concentrate on ways to keep yourself centered on the columns that list the things that you can control or can somewhat control. Let go of the things you cannot control.
5. Release to Spirit. Because of the way the universe works, when we worry about things that might happen, we tend to draw them to us. If you have done your very best to take responsibility for your life, then visualize yourself releasing the elements of the change that you cannot control to Spirit. Imagine placing each worry inside its own balloon and releasing it to Spirit. You can also gently tie the worry onto the leg of a dove and send it off. Try any visualization that works for you.
6. Visualize and feel. Visualize the best possible outcome. See and feel the change in as much detail as possible. Ask that whatever happens (and be aware that it may not be what you expect) be for the highest good of all.
7. Ask for the lesson. Be sure to request that you learn whatever life lesson is buried in the change you are experiencing.
Patricia Ariadne, Ph.D., is called The Transition Therapist because she understands from personal experience what it takes to safely cross over the bridge of change. She can be reached at 760-445-0805 or by visiting DrAriadne.com.