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Embracing Change

In Live From Love by Dr. Shelley Leutschaft

Embracing change can be difficult. Situations that vary from the norm are inevitable and a necessary part of life. Accepting them requires objectivity and effective decision making. While most of us navigate life managing day-to-day, undoubtedly the road could be a smoother one. Rest assured, the ability to openly embrace change is well within your reach.

Your emotional-self is the primary mode of regulation throughout early development and your perspective of the internal state acts as the modulator. Beginning at birth, your chances of survival are enhanced by instinctive behavior such as crying to communicate with your caregiver. The development of verbal communication impacts the continued development of emotion regulation. Generally unaware of this natural state of being as children, the existence of your emotional-self becomes increasingly more evident as you develop and achieve greater independence. As executive functioning develops and analytical thinking emerges, emotional regulation is generally achieved.

Conditioning of emotional response influences your internal compass, the gauge against which everything is measured. The consequences and rewards of your interactions with the world ultimately shape your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. How you internalize an experience determines your choices in behavior. Thoughts and feelings that are fear based result in behaviors far different from thoughts and feelings that are love based. Environment plays a crucial role in your development. Individuals raised in emotionally healthy and supportive environments tend to develop a healthier sense of self and emotional regulation than those exposed to prevalent negative valuation and judgment or violence, where the outcome can be far from optimal.

Embracing change is not synonymous with one’s like or dislike of a given situation. In fact, it is in the lake of emotion where many people become proverbially stuck. Essentially, we are encouraged to subscribe to the societally accepted governance of forced belief systems. The “just deal with it and move on” mentality is emotionally and intellectually crippling hundreds of thousands of people by negatively impacting their interpersonal effectiveness. Conditioned compliance and conformity, especially for the sake of acceptance and approval are like cancer – pervasive and deadly.

Acceptance does not require understanding, valuation, or judgment. Suspending emotional reasoning and judgment aids objectivity. Emotional triggers are created by assigning value. If necessary, give yourself permission to dislike a situation. Doing so while remaining emotionally neutral. For example, “I don’t like the group’s decision. I do not have to like the group’s decision. The group’s decision does not determine my choice to be respectful.”

Intellectual and emotional neutrality enhances your ability to embrace change. Life teaches you to assign value and emotion. You have also learned to gauge your value and worth based on our BEingness on the responses of our environment, which is then weighed against our internal compass. As convoluted as this all seems, our survival instincts drive the human condition and it is these instincts, overlaid by the ego-mind, that perpetuate the necessity of conditionality. Therein lies the problem we experience with regard to objectivity. In order to,

Situations are not good, bad, right, or wrong. They merely present opportunities for personal growth. Focusing on the closed door is like an anchor tethering you to the past. Give yourself permission remain emotionally neutral. Refrain from outcome expectation. Perseverance and practice will make embracing change easier and transitions will become a smoother process.