This year, during the COVID pandemic, Christmas has looked different for many of us.
Lots of people reacted very negatively.
They were horrified to give up ages-old family traditions, angry to be restricted in their shopping or holiday activities, and resentful about travel restrictions that kept loved ones apart.
They saw this change as a negative disruption from the norm.
A New Different
Yes, it was different… but different is only bad if you decide it’s bad!
In our family we embraced the opportunity for change joyfully, and started some very meaningful new traditions. These were personally chosen new features of our Holiday, and were done the way we wanted them done! COVID made it not only possible, but totally understandable to create new traditions that were of our choosing, rather than going through the motions of old traditions that we felt honor-bound to observe.
We enjoyed the slower pace and the ability to be with each other at home instead of running around, getting dressed in our Sunday best, making our food offering and traveling an hour to get to our traditional parties and family Christmas Eve. We actually had fun together!
Without it [change], we lose the opportunity to transform negative circumstances into gifts.
What good came in your world as a result COVID forcing the holiday season to be different?
Change can be good. As a matter of fact, change is on our side! Without it, we lose the opportunity to transform negative circumstances into gifts.
What a different world it is when you embrace change! Actively seek the new and different. The decision to do so puts you back in the driver’s seat of your own life, and helps you move in a direction that suits you.
It takes victimhood and transforms it into empowerment.
Embracing change, and seeking it in our lives means that we can contribute to sculpting our future rather than passively and resentfully accepting the hand that is dealt to us without our input.
Yes, change makes lemons into lemonade. No change? No lemonade.
Don’t misunderstand my meaning here. Actively seeking change does not mean that we can control every aspect of our life. Accepting life on life’s terms (what we deem as the good and the bad) is a very important and an empowering skill. It’s a fundamental ability that serves us all well.
We can’t control everything. That makes what I am proposing seem all the more risky, as we become vulnerable to change.
But change happens anyways, so embracing it is making the best of change, even if it is not our first choice.
Change does not always create the circumstances we desire, but it has an energy and thrust of its own. When we accept that reality, and work to guide the natural momentum of change, we can use Jujutsu-like principals to make our lives happier, and more satisfying, while feeling less vulnerable.
The principle of embracing and capturing the force of change and directing it to our own ends is classic in the martial arts. Jujutsu is described in Wikipedia as follows:
“Jū” can be translated as “gentle, soft, supple, flexible, pliable, or yielding”, and “Jutsu” can be translated as “art or technique”. “Jujutsu” thus has the meaning of “yielding-art”, as its core philosophy is to manipulate the opponent’s force against him- or herself rather than confronting it with one’s own force. Jujutsu developed to combat the samurai of feudal Japan as a method for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no form of weapon, or only a short weapon. Because striking against an armored opponent proved ineffective, practitioners learned that the most efficient methods for neutralizing an enemy took the form of pins, joint locks, and throws. These techniques were developed around the principle of using an attacker’s energy against him, rather than directly opposing it.
Did you hear that? “Rather than directly opposing it….” Directly opposing the force of change is futile. The world is expanding and that will continue to drive change ad infinitum! Why try to fight the force of change?
“If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.”
Harness it instead.
You do this by managing your mindset and pursing the knowledge you need to create the change you want to see!
Perhaps you have heard the quote “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.” Or its corollary “Insanity is what happens when you do the same thing over and over and expect different results.”
The Blessing of Change
Without change, there would be no moving forward. We would be stuck right where we are, with no opportunity to move through trying times, difficulties or challenges. Thank God change happens, or we would never find relief from the problems that otherwise plaque us.
I guess my real message here is to embrace change and empower yourself by using the momentum of change proactively.
If your life isn’t exactly what you have always dreamed it to be, get proactive about change!
This is no truer anywhere in life than working with a child on the autism spectrum. If you are not 100% satisfied with where the child you know on the spectrum, seek change, get new ideas and continue to work bravely toward the outcomes you seek.
May 2021 bring light and joy to your world.