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I write articles for a newsletter for my religious group that is published every month and was prompted to write about change for the upcoming edition. Today’s post is about change. I hope you enjoy it.

We are still dealing with COVID; we are dealing with a new government, and we are dealing with all the changes these two events will have on our lives. Why do we fight change when it comes?

Change is difficult because we are all “wired” against it. Our brains are very sophisticated and seek efficiency at every turn. When a big change occurs, our brains fight it. Why? Because our brains exhaust a lot of energy when change comes. So the brain minimizes or even resists change because of the energy it requires to literally rewire ourselves to adapt a change.

My sister and wife both made job changes recently. It is interesting to watch both of them go through the changes of learning a new job, the training they are going through, and how each reacts to the changes brought on by these job changes. Think about the changes COVID has brought into your life. Are they easy for you or difficult? For most, the changes are hard.

Changes related to going out to dinner, changes related to staying home, changes related to wearing a mask, and changes related to the normal, mundane things we are all accustomed to. When change comes, we tend to think about what has been taken away, rather than what has been given.

Think about how much reading you’ve gotten done in light of these changes to our lives. Think about the new hobbies or activities you are now doing because of the virus. Think about how much more you interact with your family over the phone or via ZOOM, Skype, or Google Chat.

A wise man once said to me, “Things are not done to us; they are done for us.” Simple, right? Imagine if we looked at life this way. Everything in our life is done for us, not to us. A play on words, perhaps, but still a powerful message and a terrific way to look at life.

I am a person who always looks for the positive things in life. Despite the lockdowns, and all the other changes the virus has brought into our lives, there are many good things that resulted from the changes wrought by this nasty little bug. I read more than I have at any other time in my life. I have learned more in the last year than I did in previous years. I have had to alter my exercise regimen, but the new exercise plan I follow is just as good or better than when I went to the gym all the time. During the winter months I work out at home because our roads aren’t so great during the winter and I don’t like to take unnecessary risks when the snow comes. Not a huge change when you think about it.

COVID has touched my family. My wife, my brother, and my nephew and his girlfriend all got it. Luckily, no one was hospitalized. My parents have been COVID free, mainly because we are all hermits and I only go out to get groceries or run errands. Since retirement, I stay at home most of the time anyway. All of my work is done right on this laptop. I read, write, learn, and entertain myself on this laptop or my Xbox console.

This year will be a great learning year, because there are so many things I need to learn for the new position I hold in ECKANKAR. My role as the State of Michigan’s lead missionary, require knowledge in data science, digital marketing, MS Excel charts, graphic design, and yes, even some programming. Does the role require that I learn these things? Not really. But I’ve always been the person who likes to take a position to a new level. By learning these things, I’ll be better prepared to understand the data we are receiving from our website, Facebook page, and our numerous Meetups that we use to put out the ECKANKAR message in Michigan.

Change is only hard when we fight it. Change is only painful when we only look at what we have lost. Change can be good, if you look at the change in a positive light. Look at what you have gained over the last year. Look at the changes you took to protect yourself and comply with your government guidance. What changes did you make? Were they beneficial? Mine were.

There’s a story I read a long time ago about trees. There was a passage about willow trees and how they “bend” with the wind, instead of trying to fight it. The wind in this case is a metaphor for the changes that come into our lives. Those that are most flexible survive; those that are not tend to “snap”. Be the willow during these changing times. Your flexibility will allow you to survive the changes in these tumultuous times. The weight of these changes will not break you, because you will be flexible enough to let the weight of these changes fall from your limbs.

Life goes on. Regardless of the changes brought on by external events like COVID, governmental elections, or anything else, we also change over time. Change is inevitable. Change will happen. Accept the changes that come and do your best. Be grateful for all the things that change brings into your life. You’ll find a new gratitude for these changes and life will be much easier. Change is only hard when we resist it.

Until next time…