It happens, not shit, change. It comes in many forms and is non discriminatory to race, gender, sexual orientation, creed etc.. Most approach change with a stiff upper lip and cockiness as we see it as the enemy. Give me change that comes with ease and the softness of snow falling on cedars. That is not how change works. It manifests like a ninja. Noticeable changes start taking place but are not deemed too signficant. At this point our lovers, spouses, significant others, friends, family and acquaintances are not even aware of the what is morphing, for some, the person is not aware either. But, like an itch that is unreachable and cannot be scratched, it starts to grows affecting larger parts and aspects. Comments, that are well meant land like rubber bullets. These aren’t death shots they cause more surface damage until they become more and more constant. At some point the barrage of meaningful intentions become too much and we shut down.
The thing is there is a place in the middle that may be rough to navigate but it is passable. When we start to notice a need for change we should start looking for allies that resemble what that change feels like. This way when others start to notice that what we feel internally is starting to appear externally via choices, likes and dislikes no matter how mundane, we have a support system to balance from.
What does change look like? It could come as a heterosexual marriage where one of the spouses recognizes that their truth lies with aligning more towards same sex interests. It could be a person being raised being indoctrinated to a specific belief and that person realizing it doesn’t align with them personally. A great example of this is generational racism. Though these two examples are very specific and significant some change comes more in changing habits or exploring new interests. Either way there will be those people that notice. Sometimes we don’t get the recognition from the ones we want and other times the ones that see the subtleties like a new hair style comes from those who are considered, “not part of the inner circle.”
Here is the most significant part of change, the need to not explain. Now, this comes with a price that can be hefty if the person experiencing the change is coming from ego. If you have spent the last umpteen years in a space and place with a specific person, it would only seem respectful to do your best in explaining what change has been experienced. If you have spent said amount of time with these persons, there should be an intimate understanding of the best and most reasonable way to approach them. Now, here is where ego needs a door check and some time in ego day care. You cannot fault the other persons reaction. You are coming to the table with a knowing of what is coming. Even if they have commented on said noticeable changes, as humans we all know when we have crossed the “cannot return from this point” threshold. Be mindful and compassionate unless the response is harmful to your body, mind or spirit. Then request space and a designated neutral place. From that moment forward there is no need for further explanation. What comes in place of that is communication and expectation about said change.
If we find ourselves on the receiving end of someone else’s change we need to understand that on some level we have all been there. From deciding to shave our heads or grow a mohawk that is change. From deciding to stop eating meat and becoming a vegetarian that is change. From understanding that though we love our persons and peoples feelings can change. There is no fault in change. This is where I agree 100% with the Golden Rule. If you would not want to be on the receiving end of hurtful and hateful words and actions then do not use those tactics on others. (My one BIG side note on this subject is when the need for change is due to abusive or addictive behaviors. DO NOT STICK AROUND WAITING FOR THEM TO GET HELP. IF THEY ARE SERIOUS ABOUT COUNSELING AND REHABILITATION THEY WILL GET IT WITHOUT YOU BEING THERE. LEAVE THE SITUATION WHEN YOU CAN AND WHILE IT IS ON YOUR TERMS.)
Change is inevitable. We can either learn to ride the waves or drown out of stubbornness.
Image Credit to Dawn Gemme