We make plans, and then something happens and we must regroup and realign. Does this sound familiar? How do we react to these unexpected changes? Do we allow them to throw us out of balance or do we look at them with an open mind?
My health challenges have taught me to be ready for change and to accept them with open arms, so to speak. How often have I been looking forward to seeing a friend, to go to an event or just to go shopping, and in the last minute I had to change my plans because of my health. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, but then I realized that there was a great lesson to be learned, and that I didn’t have to feel guilty about my friends or within myself.
How often do we send ourselves on guilt trips about letting people down and not living up to expectations? And the question to ask is: whose expectations? Ours or someone else’s? Good friends will understand that life is full of surprises and that we are not always in control. The answer is: our own expectations are causing us to feel guilty.
And have you ever felt compelled to make up excuses because you thought the truth would not be acceptable? I had to work on this since I didn’t want to tell people I was sick for quite a long time. I felt that they would pity me, or not want to be part of my diminished life any longer. How wrong can one be?
We cannot change that life will bring wanted and unwanted surprises. But we can take control of how we look at it. Do we embrace these challenges or do we resist and fight them? I have learned rapidly since I fell ill that resisting change certainly doesn’t make things better. There are so many ways to look at things. When I have to cancel a visit with a friend, for example, I feel sad, but I try not to dwell on it. I am grateful that my friend understands, and then I’ll take a book and spend some quiet time in a comfortable chair until I feel better. I still feel the loss of not seeing my friend, but I look at it with peace in my heart knowing that it was just a rain check.
My life has taught me to embrace surprises. Sometimes it takes a little more effort than others. The key is to keep on trying and to remember that avoiding guilt and self judgement makes us stronger.