Don't Fear Change

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
11/22/2008 6:00 AM   :  90 comments

A few months ago when I was cleaning out my office I stumbled across my old high school yearbooks from days gone by. As I flipped through the pages fondly recalling my life in the late 1970s, a common theme emerged from the odes my friends left --‘don’t ever change.’ I guess we thought once we crossed the threshold into adulthood we were done with our metamorphosis. But 28 years later, I now know otherwise.

Thankfully, I have CHANGED! Sometimes by choice and sometimes out of necessity. And the older I get the more I realize that I am not confined to being the same person I was even a week ago. For many (me included) the unknown is by far more frightening than the known. But never having the courage to change does not allow us to become who we are truly meant to be.

My favorite synonym for change is transform. Just like a butterfly is transformed from a not-so pretty caterpillar into a magnificent beauty, without the caterpillar we can never have the butterfly.

While doing a little research on a butterfly’s life cycle I discovered that it takes 6-8 weeks for a small egg laid on a leaf to change into a spectacular creature that children love to chase. Sadly though, within 2-4 weeks of this transformation this stunning insect has lived its life leaving us waiting until the next generation emerges.

Now many of you are probably wondering what this has to do with this journey we are on-am I right?

So here’s my take. If you review the time frame of the butterfly’s life cycle you realize that the poor insect spends more of its existence in transformation and very little time relishing in its splendor. What we admire is not the egg, the larva, or cocoon, but the end result of the transformation-the butterfly.

Aren’t many of us the same way? We spend so much time wanting to be the butterfly that we fail to appreciate the transformation. We fail to appreciate where we are today. Our desire is to get to the end result without having to walk through the storm. We are not meant to remain stagnant in our lives, otherwise we would be the same as we always have been. For it is through determination and perseverance that we begin this alteration. And while the journey isn’t always easy, when we accomplish each goal, big or small, we CHANGE.

In order to embrace a healthy lifestyle we must integrate healthy changes into our every day life. And when we do, we are no longer who we were when we embarked on this journey; we are who we are meant to be--healthy and vibrant.

So when I read the sweet notes of decades gone by I am grateful that I am not the same as I was years ago. I am learning to embrace the journey of transformation and one day will emerge the magnificent butterfly I was meant to be.

Have you made changes in your life or do you feel stagnant? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Do you think people fear change because they don’t know what that change will bring?


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Comments

  • 90
    Our lives/circumstances are going to change whether we invite that change in or not. I think it is the uninvited change that terrifies most of us...the loss of a job, an accident, a death. The death of my young husband 15 years ago forced uninvited and unwanted change into my life with a vengeance.

    Years later, I embrace the changes in my life...I relish every day with a passion. Every single day, I evolve into the person I choose to be (for that day) based on my reaction to the events that come my way. My desire is to face challenges with grace......not always easy for me.

    Most of us want to be in charge of our lives; and we are to some extent. When we choose to make a change, we are ok with it. But ultimately, it is Someone Else who has written our story.

    - 7/27/2010   8:06:37 AM
  • NJ_HOU
    89
    I used to love change until my husband of 34 years died, I thought change brought that variety I needed. Now I am very picky about what change I am willing to implement. - 5/10/2010   2:10:56 PM
  • JUHOEG
    88
    Great info-thanks - 5/9/2010   1:53:55 PM
  • CHICKFORCHRIST
    87
    I used to hate change!!!! but the Lord is working that out of me. He has put so many changes into my life the last 7 years that I am almost immune to it. Do I accept it wholeheartily? Not yet, but I am learning!! - 1/20/2010   11:18:06 AM
  • 86
    I am resistant to change, I don't move my furniture around, I shop at the same stores. Your blog makes me realize that change should be a part of my life. I will try to embrace it. - 1/20/2010   8:33:21 AM
  • 85
    Do not fear change fear being stagnant.I go through all doors that God opens for me knowing that his presence and love go with me.
    Life is not a dress rehearsal. - 1/20/2010   7:55:52 AM
  • MAGICWIZARD8
    84
    thanks!
    I'll read a book to you. - 1/19/2010   6:21:59 AM
  • 83
    Love your blog .Quite true just what i needed to read today.ReminDED me how much i have changed since last december.Can hardly recognize myself. - 1/1/2010   7:34:44 AM
  • 82
    One thing I've learned is that CHANGE IS CONSTANT. I can accept that or I can fight it. Fighting it doesn't get me anywhere, so really try to accept it. - 9/14/2009   1:31:52 PM
  • 81
    I'm a good Lutheran and HATE change. I fear the unknown so I typically don't even attempt to tackle anything I'm not sure of. Where has that gotten me? Behind financially, never went to college, heavy, etc....
    Where do I want to be? Ahead financially, going to college and graduate, and thin.
    What am I doing about this now? Still scared, but acting on things for the better. It's a great stepping stone to the right direction!
    Thanks for this blog. It means a lot to me. - 8/28/2009   8:05:37 PM
  • 80
    I've found the hardest thing about change is knowing what is in my power to change and how to go about making the change(s). - 7/19/2009   1:19:34 PM
  • 79
    Very well put! Great insight and wonderful analogy. I loved it! - 7/19/2009   12:44:02 PM
  • MOIRA48
    78
    I lost the weight one, years ago, with WW. I gained it all back. My fear is the same as before. After all the compliments and pats on the back, I failed to maintain my weight loss and healthy habits. Right now I am losing and gaining back the same 13 pounds. I embarrased myself in front of my family/friends but mostly I let myself down. I am afraid of doing that again. - 6/28/2009   7:25:27 AM
  • 77
    I think most of the time that change is good. We are living and growing and that's what life is about. - 6/28/2009   12:49:00 AM
  • 76
    This blog is very inspiring. I definitely love change. I can't wait to see what happens. I just can't wait to become that butterfly. - 4/2/2009   5:25:23 PM
  • NO-41_RAZZYS_PL
    75
    Thank Goodness, I just stumbled across this THIS morning! I was beginning to think there was something WRONG with me!! I'll go through phases where I'm perfectly content and then... BLAM! it's sooo boring! It can be months of one phase, or only hours- no, make that minutes... maybe less. WHEW! ***l*u*c*k*y*** for me, you wrote this!
    THANKS!!
    *´¨)
    ¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
    (¸.·´ (¸.·´ *Annie - 3/30/2009   10:46:59 AM
  • 74
    I am just scared that i will loose this weight and still not be happy with me..
    I need to work on my self esteem .. I need to put the positive in to my life..
    I have to work on this almost every day.. that every day is a new day to do with it what you can do and be happy with that.. - 3/29/2009   1:06:11 PM
  • 73
    I have always tried to embrace change. Being fearful of change can cause so much undue stress and just leaves us stagnant. But I've never thought of it as a 'transformation'. Just that one simple word change makes it so much easier to embrace! I love it! Transformations naturally imbue a sense of change in response to something or change towards something better. Thanks for the wonderful insight! - 3/26/2009   10:40:25 AM
  • 72
    This is so true. I actually love change, almost too much. I get bored to easily. But I'm always obsessed with the goal and forget about the journey. I'm so busy looking 20 steps ahead that I don't pay attention to the smaller steps that are needed to reach that goal. As a result it ends up taking longer than it should to reach the goal, or I miss it entirely. - 3/14/2009   3:29:06 PM
  • KATHY:)
    71
    Wonderful blog post:) Change in life has made my time on earth very interesting. I am in the process of building on a new change in me, and God only knows when the "butterfly" will appear again. Life is short, so we must embrace change through all stages of our life.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. - 2/17/2009   1:20:53 PM
  • 70
    I have a saying posted on my Sparkspage:

    Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she became a butterfly.

    I love your analogy, it makes sense. I keep waiting to be the butterfly, but I need to appreciate the journey of the caterpillar as well.

    Thank you for this 'food for thought' LOL! - 1/30/2009   11:10:27 AM
  • 69
    A beautiful analogy and very inspiring. - 1/20/2009   9:27:07 PM
  • 68
    I have transformed more in my life than some people can even imagine. I embrace change in all it's wonder and I know that losing weight is just one more step in the process.

    Just being lighter isn't the point, the journey itself, is - and I am reminded of that quote, I forget who said it now, "'Choose your journey not for where they will take you, but for who you will become in the process." - 1/13/2009   2:02:25 PM
  • 67
    I really needed to read this!! Thank you for writing it. - 1/8/2009   11:10:08 AM
  • MINNESOTA6
    66
    Thank you. Change is not always easy. - 1/4/2009   10:35:25 AM
  • KAP4KS
    65
    There was a time that I felt that if I changed in any shape or form, I'd lose everyone around me. Kind of like cupping your hands filled with water, it slips away and you don't know how to stop it because everythings changing. You try to get change to stop but then you realize that change isn't so bad.

    That was me.

    You can develop a better sense of judgement in your life if you let change occur in your life. Optimism is key.

    It took me an entire to realize that so no if change occurs I let it. I actually embrace it with open arms. For the first time in nearly ten years, I actually celebrated the New Year with open arms. I feel ecstatic about it.

    - 1/2/2009   1:47:25 AM
  • 64
    To Read is to learn. I am learning so much and it's only been 4 days. Thank you. - 12/27/2008   8:07:18 PM
  • CHRISSIEB1987
    63
    I definitely know change can be scary even at a young age. I recently switched majors from a bachelors in finance to an associates in arts and sciences. I am a senior in college and I have spent the last three and a half years unhappy and scared to change it. But I took the chance and since I feel it is never to late to change and do what you want so that you are happy. I want to be an English professor and a writer. If I had continued to be scared of change I wouldn't have done that and I wouldn't be here trying to make myself healthier and happier! This was a much needed post! - 12/27/2008   7:34:18 PM
  • 62
    I've heard it said that if she aren't moving forward, then we are moving backward. Change is the only option. - 12/6/2008   12:36:42 AM
  • 61
    I am still learning that life is an adventure. I need constant reminders to stop and smell the flowers and enjoy the scenery as I go. I love life, and it is fun. I have gone through some very difficult times (for me) and have grown with each obstacle. I have been blessed many times over and have so much to be thankful for and all the changes I have gone through, have helped me to recognize all of this. I am happy with change, I don't always see the good coming from it, but when I step back and look at where I am and where I have been - I want to keep going and enjoy a few more adventures! Life is wonderful and exciting and is always changing. - 12/2/2008   11:55:45 AM
  • 60
    How true that is! We fail to enjoy the jopurney so many times, looking for the end of it. I feel I have missed a lot of pleasure by doing that. It's something I need to work on. - 12/1/2008   12:21:08 PM
  • 59
    Isn't that odd, other people tell you not to change, what a great blog and very motivational. I have changed some much within the last month even, I no longer believe that: I will be overweight forever, I can only eat three meals a day, I need someone else to motivate me, my life has to be going great in order for me to be healthy, there are just so many things that I have changed about myself recently most of them were thoughts that I some how had in my head and couldn't get them out. I do look ahead to the future and that's all I want to see, but I think that hard work that it takes to get there is much more enjoyable than a great body. I wanted to see a picture of myself when I lose the weight, but I decided if this is something that is important to me then it is worth waiting to see if person and I should just focus on the now. - 11/30/2008   9:26:39 PM
  • 58
    Hon, with all thats going on in the World today? My diet is the Last thing I'm afraid of. - 11/26/2008   8:02:29 AM
  • 57
    This piece was very well written and awe inspiring. Thanks - 11/25/2008   6:58:56 PM
  • 56
    In certain areas I like change and/or variety...like buying different brands of foods, cleaning products, etc to try them out. But in other areas I really do like my comfort zone and don't want to leave it...not for long, anyway!
    Change is good if it's in the positive direction, if it's something that will improve not only our lives, but the lives of those around us. - 11/25/2008   1:24:57 PM
  • 55
    I am the one that is always afraid of change.. I have been an introvert so far.. Would like to change myself.. I have been preparing myself and we have been looking forward for our greatest change moving to another part of the world.. - 11/25/2008   12:39:04 PM
  • VEGANMIKE
    54
    Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I tend to be apprehensive of change and it keeps my world small. What you said made a lot of sense so maybe I can journal about this and work to make my world a little bigger. Thank You. - 11/25/2008   10:59:38 AM
  • 53
    Just exactly what I needed. One of my favorite quotes is: "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly". Thanks for sharing your thoughts...truly uplifting. - 11/25/2008   6:01:40 AM
  • 52
    Great blog!
    - 11/25/2008   4:27:26 AM
  • 51
    What a great blog! I embrace changes. You know where you are now but you never know where you end up. I'm from Germany and 3 years ago I really was unhappy with my job and life there, all my friends got married, moved away and I was on my own again. So I had to start again - well, I spend a weekend on the net applied for a visa to New Zealand and that's where I am now. I have a great partner, a job I love and new friends as well as I stay in touch with my friends back home. It was a big change but definitely worth it. And I couldnt have done it a few years earlier because I just wasn't ready. It all takes time - to grow and change - 11/24/2008   11:12:18 PM
  • 50
    What a nice positive feeling blog. Thank you! - 11/24/2008   10:21:31 PM
  • 49
    20 years ago, I wrote a short story about being a caterpillar that wanted to transform into a butterfly. Finally twenty years later, I started my transformation, first I stopped smoking, then I started walking, and finally I got active in Sparks and started healthier eating. I am not going to complete my transformation - 11/24/2008   9:05:50 PM
  • HAPPYANDLUCKY
    48
    I love this article! Thank you!

    Fear is a huge motivator for most people without them even knowing it. Change creates fear in the unknown. The journey gets fun when you embrace that fear and ride it like a roller coaster. - 11/24/2008   6:37:48 PM
  • 47
    If thre is one thing I've earned in my life time is that the only thing that remains constant is change. I embrace it with open arms, whether for good or bad, I know God has it in His plan for me. - 11/24/2008   5:07:49 PM
  • 46
    Awesome! Change will always come, no matter how hard we try to stop it, so why fight it? Instead embrace it, and let it be on your side! Change has a negative connotation, but just like the author of this blog entry was saying, it can be one of the most positive experiences in a person's life! I love knowing that everything can change, because then I know that I have the power to make anything happen! :D - 11/24/2008   2:41:55 PM
  • 45
    What a beautiful way to look at change!!!!! Thanks! - 11/24/2008   2:31:48 PM
  • 44
    Such Great News! Thank you!
    I have 'stayed the same' for too long... I am now relishing the "new me" that is becoming.....
    Ever changing but still the same "me" in my heart of hearts... just better: day by day! - 11/24/2008   11:25:59 AM
  • 43
    I really needed to read this today. I need to feel I can be a butterfly. - 11/24/2008   10:28:25 AM
  • 42
    The most important fact that I have learned since high school is that not all change is good and that all movement is not forward. I look at that high school picture and I see a bright smiling face. Well, I am still smiling! I may weigh more, but I am more muscular and I eat better. As I "transform", I hope to loose some weight and tone those muscles! - 11/24/2008   10:15:24 AM
  • 41
    A thought to ponder...Do we fear change or do we fear rejection? - 11/24/2008   10:01:31 AM

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