“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
― Barack Obama
There has been so much talk lately about empowerment. We have seen in the news the voices of young people demanding change for safer schools and communities. We have seen the women and men begin to uncover the hidden pain of harassment with the Metoo movement. We have seen more voices raised in protest over the past few years than I have seen throughout most of my life. This societal change is necessary for growth. It has historically been proven that moving beyond the status quo or known has brought about some of the most important and lasting changes in our society. These changes have usually been for the better. But with every change there is doubt, there is opposition, and there is a natural yearning for what is familiar and safe. If we bring this concept of change from a broader, social perspective to a more personal context, what would this mean?
As a therapist my job is to encounter people everyday who seeks change. Realizing the need for change and desiring to do so is only half the battle in the journey to real change. I tell client’s if I could wave a magic wand and say change occur this process would be so much simpler. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective, change does not happen so easily. Change requires work and willing to go beyond what is familiar.
As I think of the work required in change, it reminds me of my mother as she would grow beautiful tall houseplants. When I was a child I remember asking her why she would periodically take the time to repot her plants. It was a lengthy and messy process in which she would transfer her plant to a larger pot. She told me that she had to do it in order for her plants to continue to grow and be healthy. The plants required a new environment and pruning in order to grow well. Even though I did not remotely inherit my mother’s green thumb, that lesson always stuck with me. Much like the plant and the transference to a new pot, we must be willing to transform our thoughts and beliefs and gain a new perspective in order for the roots of change to manifest. Real change requires us to let go of the things that has stunted our growth and embrace a new perspective. It can be messy. It can be difficult. There will be opposition. But, it is not impossible.
My hope is that we learn to embrace the inevitability of change and look forward to the transformation of growth.
Alicia M. Lurry LPC