If there is one thing that we can count on in life, it is change. Think about what we have witnessed in the world around us over the last year alone, and think about the change you have witnessed in your own family, your community, and yourself. Some of it good, some of it maybe not so good. If you are anything like me, you probably like the idea of change, but not the reality of it. Or, also like me, you want to embrace change in your life but only in terms of the aspects of your life that you actually want to change. In other words, to be in control of any change in your life.
But the changes in life don't work that way. And probably life gives us no greater evidence that we aren’t in control than through the experience of chronic conditions, which provide us with a day-to-day reminder that change is out of our control.
Digging in your heels? When we live in denial of change, we only cause ourselves more distress. Still, I often find myself wishing that some aspects of life could stay the same, and that people I care about could stay just as they are and not get older, or have health problems that affect what we can do together. And of course, I wish that for myself. Sometimes I want to dig in my heels and pretend change isn’t occurring right in front of my nose – like maybe if I pretend it isn’t there, then it won’t be. But it is. Nothing stays the same. My comfortable routines in life are constantly being snatched away, and I have to roll with those punches.
When I think of someone – myself included – avoiding change, I have an image of someone walking along a sidewalk, staring down as they walk, avoiding anything but the 5 feet of pavement in front of them. Trying to see as little as possible so he/she can avoid seeing anything that might be unfamiliar, or scary. They manage to do a pretty good job of avoiding until they run into a wall.
But we all have a choice. We can instead look around, take in the good and the not so good. Face it as it comes, understand it, adjust to it. That’s what I remind myself to do in my own life. Sometimes I’m more successful than other times. I’m a work in progress, just like you are.
While I’m looking around, I also tell myself to look upward, at the open sky. There’s a lot more to the universe than what I see in the five feet in front of me. A lot to know, a lot to experience. The limits turn into limitlessness.
What I am saying is that when you focus what’s possible, then the changes that you have to make in my life don’t see so catastrophic.
Wake up and make friends with yourself. Work with the aspects of yourself that you are happy about, and the aspects that you aren’t so happy about, like your chronic condition. Accept and embrace all of yourself. Remind yourself that you are not a diagnosis. You are a lot more than that.
We can choose to work with change. For a chronic illness, learning how to take care of ourselves in ways that keep us as healthy as possible. And working with healthcare professionals that can be our guides on this journey. Self-care is the foundation of dealing with the changes in life that chronic conditions introduce.
Having support along the journey can make a big difference. Caring friends and family. The support of others who are facing similar challenges, and who can not only give but need support in return.
And a spiritual connection – however you define it – is also an invaluable resource. Again, not limits but limitlessness.
Everybody on Diabetic Connect is an expert in their own right on facing life on life’s terms, not as we wish life could be.
Okay, I told you how I deal with change in my life. How do you do it? Any experiences or secrets to share?
Next Discussion: Hello »