“That’s not how we do things around here.”
These words, and the attitude they reflect, are familiar to anyone who has suggested an alternative. Whether it’s in the break room, the boardroom, the classroom, the living room, the conference room or the bedroom, an alternate approach to anything is met with resistance. The resistance is so predictable that we can tell ourselves it’s natural. But it is not.
I’ll repeat that: Resistance to change is not natural. It is a practiced response. Most of us have become Masters of resistance. It is, ultimately, a fear based reaction.
A longish time ago, some guy from Greece is purported to have observed: “The only constant in life is change.” With or without another tote, something about this seems true, feels profound…but somehow unlivable or unrealistic. (Philosophy often has that effect on us.)
Still, if we ask ourselves to name one thing that has remained unchanged throughout known time (or even in our lifetime), it’s a stumper. Everything and everyone seems to be in a process of some sort…adjusting, adapting, formulating, dissolving, coming together and falling apart in endless variety. These processes are not independent or isolated from one another. In our sciences, we are continuing to discover and uncover the interconnectedness of everything. Some have referred to it as the ‘Web of Life’.
Still, in our own life, we often find ourselves resisting change out of fear. We suffer as a result…our relationships suffer, our job performance suffers, our enjoyment and appreciation of life suffers, our personal (mental, emotional, spiritual) growth suffers. All because we don’t want to change anymore. We want to keep things the same. Keep things the way we know them. Keep things where and how we’ve decided they belong. We tell ourselves that change takes too much hard work, costs too much time and energy, and only results in something that’s going to have to be changed again at some point.
What if we have it backwards? What if it’s the effort to keep things the same that’s really draining us, that demands monumental amounts of time and energy, and that, ultimately, is so futile? These are not rhetorical questions that I’m going to leave you with, ‘drop microphone’ fashion.
The world was once flat in our common understanding. So, too, was the sun thought to revolve around the earth. Oopps. We were completely mistaken. There are so many examples of our being utterly and collectively misguided, I won’t go into listing them. I will only remind you that we are confronted with some of them to this very day.
As we seek to awaken to ourselves, owning our choices, altering our patterns, we make changes quite naturally. We begin to experience a sense of liberation and a renewed sense of possibility. We actually feel as though we’re in a ‘flow’. We are no longer chained to our past perspectives, no longer commanded by precedent to repeat poor behaviors