Thursday, May 18, 2006

Are you prepared for when a door closes in your life?

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
- Alexander Graham Bell, inventor (1847-1922)

This is not a difficult concept to understand, but it's a painful one to explain.

We all long for stability, for the world to remain the same long enough so that we can get a handle on it and learn to control it.

We long for our lives to be within our grasp, to be able to understand and manage the factors that make up each day.

Change destroys that. Yet change is not just the norm of nature, but its paradigm. Nature and change you might as well say are the same thing.

We are, therefore, at odds with nature when it comes to our ability to control our lives. It doesn't have to be as bad as this seems.

We tend to dislike change in our lives because we don't know the consequences that change may bring. It may, and often does, make life worse or harder. At least in the short term. Once we adapt to change, however, our lives can be better. And usually are, for some inexplicable reason.

We don't know what change the future may bring. But we can be prepared with options for the worst disasters that could happen to us. Such as losing a loved one, losing a job, having a friend betray us, being robbed, even being raped. These are events we can prepare ourselves for mentally and emotionally so that if one does happen we have a plan of action so we know what to do.

It's the emotional mess that is the worst of unexpected disasters in our lives. We can prepare ourselves emotionally. Even just admitting to ourselves that each of these disasters could happen to us gives us a good edge on knowing what to do if they did. We can imagine what we would do if any of them happened to us. We can plan what our next moves would be to help ourselves. If we make these plans now, tragedy in the future will not be so stressful.

Change isn't always bad over the long term. And tragedy in our lives is a signal for a new beginning.

New beginnings aren't bad if we know what to do when they are required. They give us chances to build new lives that we could not have, could not imagine maybe, under our current ones. They give us opportunities to fulfill more of our potential than we are doing now.

That's a good thing. Harsh, painful, and by no means short term. But good over the long term.

Long term is good, unless you plan to die in the interim.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help each person look forward to new beginnings rather than fearing the change they bring.
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