I’ll admit it straight away- I’ve always been terrified of change. Change has often meant loss or struggle in some form or another, and I’ve had quite enough of that in my life.
As I’ve shared before, I really do believe that some of us who have placed very careful boundaries on our lives have *lovingly* constructed those boundaries over time because of traumatic experiences earlier on.
For me, it was having health problems as a child. I was born with Spina Bifida and many of my early years were pretty much dictated by doctors and the medical community- their word was final. Bed rest for six months? Total reconstruction of my foot for the third time? A semester off school? No questions asked. I felt like life was completely out of my control, and that was terrifying.
As I grew older and began to take an interest in how my body and health worked, and I grew mature enough to take a great measure of responsibility for my health, I created my own set of “rules” for life. I carefully placed each of these rules into practice and they really do form a sort of structural system for my life. Because of this experience, I totally get how a sense of stability and predictability can be a great source of serenity and happiness to many people. I often tell people that one of the greatest joys in my life is just being a GROWN UP and having a say in my own life.
The problem is this: I recently realized that if I took the concept of change out of life completely, it would mean a fair amount of settling for how things are. And that’s not what I want. I want life to be even better. I want to be happier. I want to be full of joy and peace and have a general sense of well-being. I want life to improve every day. I want more and more from life the more I grow and learn.
But if I don’t allow anything to change, there’s no way for anything to improve.
So I’ve come to redefine change- instead of meaning losing things or having things switched completely out and mixed up, I now see change as a possibility for better.
That’s why this Eleanor Roosevelt quote resonates so deeply for me right now- it’s a reminder to continue to move forward, to take advantage of any little bliss this life has to offer. A reminder to continue to reach out to life and ask for more from it. A reminder to carefully look at life and see the ways in which my experiences can be improved and made even better.
Change is a super-scary thing. But if we look at change as opportunities for improvement, opportunities for happiness, the idea of change suddenly becomes much more inviting.
I created a high-resolution 4×6″ printable poster of this quote for you to download and print out. Simply right-click here and choose “Download Linked File”, or click here and choose “Save As” from under the “File” menu on your browser. If you’d like larger sizes, check out the Etsy Shop.
Chel Micheline is a mixed-media artist, curator, writer, and avid gardener/reader/swimmer who lives in Southwest Florida with her husband and daughter. When Chel’s not making art or pondering the Bliss Habits, she’s blogging at gingerblue.com (come say hi!) or posting new things in the gingerblue etsy shop.