I know that change is constant in our lives. There is not a day that goes by that some form change happens to me, my loved ones or friends. Do we get overloaded by the amount of changes in our lives? I think yes.
A friend opens up
A member of my Toastmasters club had been absent from our meetings for quite some time. I did not know why. When I saw her at the last meeting, I mentioned that we had missed and asked if everything was OK in her life. I opened the floodgate. I am grateful that I did, as she needed to talk. She needed to know that someone (me) cared.
She shared that in the past four months she had experienced an incredible number of changes to her life. As she unfolded the story, I realized that she had never experienced as many changes so quickly in her entire life. From the death of a close family member, a new business started, an adult son getting married, a move to a new house, a new grandchild being born and finally, a very sick mom.
As I am listening and following along with each event, I am thinking, “How much can one person handle?” She put on a brave face as she shared a bit about each event. However, I could tell that even she was overwhelmed with all that had happened. She was completely worn out from change.
I could feel her intense emotion about all the changes that had occurred in a compressed timeframe.
The stacking of changes
There are times in our lives where small changes happen in a small volume.
There are times in our lives where small changes happen in large doses.
There are times in our lives where one or two large changes happen.
There are times in our lives where many, many large changes happen all at once.
Hugs help alleviate the weight
As she talked, I mentally saw a vision of words that described these events simply stacking on top of each other. No wonder why she was worn out. The weight of these words was literally on her shoulders.
I hugged her to help alleviate the weight. I am not sure if it helped.
She said, “I am ready for the unexpected events to stop… for just a little while. Let me catch up with it all, catch up with life.”
I hugged her again. She knows I care about the changes she is facing in her life. To me, it matters that she knows I care.
What do we know?
We know that unexpected events are going to happen.
We know deep inside that whatever those events are, they have the power to dramatically impact our lives.
We know we cannot stop unexpected events from happening to us or our loved ones.
I offered my unsolicited advice by saying that over the next few months
- Give yourself grace to absorb your emotions to these events
- “Tap the brake” and slow down
- Implement extreme self-care
- Avoid starting anything new or at least delay it
The unexpected events that cause change in our lives are unavoidable. What we can control is our reaction to them and our emotions. Realize that others around us who also experienced these unexpected events need grace too.