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Once again there’s lots of talk about life getting back to normal – whatever that may mean (!) – both in the media and in conversations with those around us. It’s underwritten by the unspoken assumption that we can simply return to where we were before all the madness started a couple of years ago. Pick up our lives as if nothing happened. If only life were that simple! 
 
While it may be a comforting pipedream, sadly, the reality is rather different. And, before the Little Monster in your head gets too vocal on the subject, this doesn’t automatically mean it’s a bad thing! Rather the opposite. 
 
It may be a cliché but the only constant in life is change. And, to keep this post upbeat, we’re only going to mention in passing a couple of the other constants. Death and taxes (!). Moving swiftly on… 
 
 
When life is proceeding as expected, whether in a positive or less so direction, it’s easy to forget that EVERYTHING that happens in our lives changes us in some way. Most of the time, the changes are so small we simply don’t notice them, unless looking back over a period of weeks or months. Or, perhaps, when pointed out by someone who hasn’t seen or heard from us for a while. 
 
Less often, thankfully, changes come out of the blue. Sometimes affecting us personally, other times the world as a whole. More like a tidal wave or tsumani, affecting some – or all – of our lives in the blink of an eye. The effects are so obvious they can’t be overlooked and, often, people will use them as markers in their lives and how they changed as a result. Not surprisingly, they’re often referred as the big life changing events, with an emphasis on BIG. The end of a relationship or marriage. Ill health. Loss of a loved one. War. 
 
However, these events aren’t automatically negative but can be times of great joy as well. The birth of a child. New relationship, job or home. A complete change of direction. 
 
And not forgetting that what may be a tragedy to one person may be a happy release for another. Perhaps from a person or situation they hadn’t been able to free themselves from before, for a whole host of different reasons. 
 
Regardless of how dramatic – or not – the change is, life has an effect on us ALL the time. The person we went to bed as last night, is a different one to that which woke up yesterday morning. True, the changes are usually imperceptible, but they do build up gradually over time becoming visible to those around us if not always ourselves… 
 
However much we may wish to, we can never return to the “good old days”. Or, that’s how they now appear through our rose tinted spectacles, even if they didn’t at the time… And, that’s most definitely a good thing, because both ourselves and the world around us have moved on since then. 
 
So, rather than trying to turn the clock back, why not accept this simple truth? That life is ALL ABOUT CHANGE, much of it outside our control. It’s up to us whether we ride the flow – and enjoy the ride – or fight it, running the risk of being completely swept away by it. It’s our choice. 
 
While it may sound a little simplistic, we can use everything that happens in our lives to either help us or to hurt us. Help us leave behind all the things we no longer need, whether a belief, trait or skill. Perhaps something more physical, a previously prized possession or accolade that no longer reflects who we are. Allowing us to naturally evolve in some way, become more of who we really are. Alternatively, we can play the victim and allow life to hurt us. Clinging on to something that no longer reflects who we are. 
 
You need look no further than the madness of the last couple of years to see both in action. Many people have radically changed both their outlook on life and lives as a whole in response to it. Have ridden the wave and used the experience positively. Interestingly, in the vast majority of cases it wasn’t something they’d have chosen to do, but gave them the necessary impetus to do it. Sadly, others have gone into “poor me” mode with all too predictable results… 
 
The good news is you don’t have to wait for a life changing event to take stock of the changes that have been happening imperceptibly in yourself and your life. Simply, taking a little time each day to mull over what’s been happening in your life and how you’ve responded to it. Noticing what’s working for you and making you happy. Just as important, what isn’t. 
 
It gives you the opportunity to see these tiny changes in action, as well as where they may be taking you. To listen to what your heart may be telling you. The other hints life has been giving you. The direction you may be going without even realising it. 
 
Accepting that life is all about change and, most importantly, not resisting it turns life from one long struggle to something to be enjoyed. Yes, even those things or events you never would have chosen voluntarily. Just as important, it allows you to gently correct your course to the direction you now desire, as well as to more quickly regain your momentum. Remembering that everything is sent to help us IF we allow it to. 
 
Life is an incredible experience, we just need to relax a little and enjoy the ride… 
 
As always, the choice is yours. 
 
 
Picture by unknown author 
 
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