METAMORPHOSIS - ep. 5 - How to Accept Change as a Part of Life

In times of hardship, we are all the same. Fear, as the ultimate guardian to our lives, takes the lead and makes us feel small, bitter and anxious facing what has been thrown at us. I’ve talked about fear on a few other ocasions, here, here, here and here. The basic definition is clear: an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. By its very nature, life is unpredictable and by that somewhat scary.

We don’t know what lies ahead, we don’t know what to do in certain situations and we are all afraid of death. It is the Everest of fear. “What if I do this and I die?”, “What if it will kill me in the end?”, “What if I’m not strong / pretty / prepared / lucky / etc. enough? What if it will kill me faster?”

The basic and most obvious thing that you should realize is that we are all bound to die at some point. That’s reality. It’s the way life goes and has been going for thousands and thousands of years. We all feel this fear, this angst. But we all survive most of these moments. 

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose” 

(Steve Jobs - Stanford Commencement Speech, 2005)

We already have nothing, why are we so scared? Because of all the attachements we create day in and day out. We love so many things, so many places, so many activities, so many persons, that the simple thought of losing any of those generates a crippling fear inside our bodies. And we cringe. We lose focus, we are all the time expecting something awful to happen. And we forget to live. In time, we forget to love, to feel, to be.

But how do you learn to let go? To accept? Nobody ever taught me that. I was an overachiever since I can remember, and one day telling me that I am bound to live with a lifelong chronic condition that will have unpredictable episodes was mindblowing.

The first reaction was “I’m the champion! I’m going to beat this!”. The second one was grief: “What will happen to my life from now on? It will never be the same after this?”. The third one was fear: “What does the future have in stall for me? What will happen?”. We all get here at some point. And some of us are stuck. For a long while.

The truth is that we are the only ones who can get ourselves out of there. Nobody’s going to be able to do anything for us if we don’t let them. And I don’t mean let THEM do something for us as we sit down quietly and wait for results. I’m talking about actively engaging in our lives and help others help us.

All in life is about relationships. Relationships keep us strong. When we open ourselves to people and let them see past our pride and see our fear, that’s where compassion comes in. That’s when the true healing begins. I said begins, not takes place. It’s a process that we need to follow, that we need to repeat all the times that will be necessary. Things are not fixed in the world. They are flowing. They are constantly changing. If today I feel better and happy, tomorrow I might be overwhelmed with fear and anger.

This is even more true when living with a chronic illness. The trick here is to accept it, adapt your day around that feeling and overcome it by living, by doing, by dreaming, by being with others. There are some of us who need time alone to recharge and feel better. Take that time. Do what makes you feel good again. But don’t stay there too long. Get out there and live.

This too shall pass. We all have our ups and downs in this rollercoaster. We might as well learn to enjoy the view, because it’s not stopping anytime soon. 

That was all for today! See you next Friday!

For more episodes of the METAMORPHOSIS Project, click here.


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