As we have transitioned from Summer into Fall (my favorite season) I can’t help but think of the change a new season brings. The Fall brings cooler temperatures, changing colors in the leaves, swapping sandals for boots, and ushering in the holiday season. While I love this season, I do not typically like change.
Change can be hard, but change can also be very beautiful, just as the colors of the fall leaves. The hard part can be that change requires some effort. It can require a change in attitude, a shift in priorities or location, and the ability to be flexible. I don’t know about you, but this does not come easy for me. It is far easier for me to stay in my comfortable bubble where things don’t change, and I know what to expect. Unfortunately, change is not something any of us can escape. The more amendable we are to change (no matter what kind), the better the outcome can be.
I have often heard individuals remark that therapy is something they attend to be fixed. The assumption here is that the responsibility is on the therapist to bring about healing or change. However, this is not the case. As a colleague once described to me; as therapists we are the GPS, but those we meet with are the drivers. This means that as a therapist, I might have some insight or tools to guide, but it is up to each individual where he wants to go.
Because change can be hard and require extra effort, there can be resistance to the process. I found again and again when the walls of resistance begin to crumble, true change can begin to take place. This can look like a lot of things depending on what an individual is seeking therapy for. Some of it may address trauma, bad habits, finding courage to try something new, etc. Change does take courage. It isn’t always easy to take steps to begin the change process. I have found that when an individual begins to embrace change, there is a lot of freedom to be found.
I often use my son as an illustration because I think we can learn a lot from children if we allow ourselves to see the lessons they can teach us. My son is almost a year old and over the past few months has been changing rapidly. From trying to talk, to crawling and almost walking, to feeding himself, and to getting into everything, he is changing day by day. He must put a lot of effort into making changes and learning about the environment around him. It isn’t always easy and there are some tears shed along the way with bumped heads, falling, and tantrums. However, on the other side is the amazing transformation of growth happening. He is learning new skills, getting bigger and becoming who God has made him to be.
If we would all view change this way, we could always remember that with the tears, bumps, and bruises along the way there is amazing growth, freedom and transformation happening. Thankfully, just as parents guide and support their children, our loving Heavenly Father is with us along the way. Whether it be in therapy office or just in goals for change in daily life, God is waiting to be invited in. He wants to walk with us and help us change into who He has called us to be. Like me, maybe you don’t love change or want to embrace it. But remember, though change can be challenging and painful at times, it can be beautiful, just like the leaves of Fall.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19