Change is something that many of us running around on this planet fear. As humans we strive for familiarity, comfort and safety. Often times change can look unsafe, uncomfortable, and foreign to us in all senses of the word. I will be the first to admit that change is scary to me. I tend to want to have all the information, to control every aspect of a situation, and feel safe before change is wholeheartedly initiated.
However, resistance to change is just as futile as trying to control it. Change is an inevitable part of life. There is no escaping it. As time ticks away on the clock, as the moon cycles flow, and as the seasons change, things change. Technology advances, infrastructure is built or torn down, the world changes all around us. Life changes, we change individually. We change as we age, learn and experience life.
"The Only Constant in Life Is Change."- Heraclitus
How do we embrace change? How do we live life with the least amount of resistance? Its an easier said than done kind of thing. We can learn to flow with the changes like flowing down a river. A river that leads us to acceptance of what IS. Many thing that we are dealing with we can't change from sheer will alone. Most things we can change have everything to do with our actions, what we do with our time, our energy, and where we place our thoughts and attention.
My Grandfather asked me a very simple question when I was 17. His question was, " What can you control?" I don't remember my personal answer to that question from that time. His answer, "YOURSELF." It took me many years to begin to comprehend what it means to "control yourself," and I continue to learn about this concept everyday.
"In that power of self-control lies the seed of eternal freedom."-Paramahansa Yogananda
The only thing we have full autonomous control over is ourselves. We can choose how we act, how we interact with others, and how we treat our self. We all individually have free will to act how we choose in each situation. We also have complete control over how we act in accordance with another persons actions.
I know this can sound like a lot of responsibility. That's because it is. It is still better to take full responsibility of what we can control and then to attach our expectations, our will, and our desired actions or outcomes on that which we can't. Trying to control things not within our grasp is a self-defeating behavior that takes our power from us. Instead of using that power to embrace what is within our reach, we waste it doing everything we can to change things outside side of our reach.
With self-control we gain the power to accept what is controllable within our life. We begin to let go of what is outside of our control. We learn to live in peace with what IS.
I know at this point you're probably wondering, "How did we get from change is constant to controlling yourself?" Change is a part of who you are. You are not the infant that you once were, just as much as you are not the child you once were. You have changed, you have grown and you have lived a life filled with experiences. You are living change. You have the power to directly change yourself as you are Now if you choose to. You can learn to live, think, believe, and behave in new more fulfilling ways. However, you can't force change on anyone, or anything else.
Now, I would like to make this clear, I am not saying that you do not have influence over the changes in other peoples lives or the world around you. The exact opposite is true. As we change our self for the better and become more self aware, and gain more self control, we set an example for others to do the same. When we take responsibility for our self and the changes we can make, others gain courage, inspiration, and strength from our self-mastery. We begin to shine into the world that we can be the change we want to see. We begin to show others that they too can control who they are, how they are and what they become.
"If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him."-Mahatma Gandhi