How to Receive Change Like A Baby

 

By Shannon E. Franklin

Every once in a while I find myself in a weepy mess as I scroll through photos and videos of my son from the past nine months. I’m amazed by how different he looks from one month to the next. I’m in awe of how quickly he’s transforming from a helpless infant into an independent little person with a will all his own. My heart already aches for the days he will grow beyond needing me at all. At the same time, I excitedly anticipate every milestone and delight in the ways he changes daily.

For babies, change is constant. Sometimes in a matter of a few days, they go through significant physical and cognitive changes that make them more ready for the big world around them. They may have a period of crankiness or trouble sleeping as these changes settle in. Then, miraculously, they’ve grown an inch, learned to wave, or taken their first steps.

As adults, we’ve learned to be uncomfortable with change. We become stuck in our ways and get complacent in situations, even when they no longer serve us, because change can be hard on us. We can’t always predict what’s on the other side of any “change,” which makes it inherently risky. It can create chaos, is marked by upheaval, and can be downright scary — as the effects of change are almost always out of our control. We forget that after that period of unrest, we emerge, ready to take on a new phase of life.

Change is necessary for accelerated growth. What would happen if we approached change the way babies do? Instead of being fearful, nervous and resistant, what if we were excited, curious and hopeful? If we are committed to personal growth, shouldn’t we shift to a mindset that welcomes change?

Instead of fighting against it, in the new year and beyond, I’m committing to embracing change as it comes in the following ways:

  1. By anticipating my growth – and being excited to enter a new life chapter
  2. By being present – and taking each high, low, success or obstacle as it comes
  3. By being unattached to the outcome – and acknowledging that whatever happens is what’s needed in that time of my life
  4. By accepting the lessons being revealed – and applying what I learn to future experiences

One day I plan to tell my son just how much he’s taught me about life in the short time he’s been here. His existence has ushered in a massive shift in every aspect of my life. I find myself wanting to change to be better for him. I seek out ways to shed old habits and establish new behaviors that I want to model for him. He has been my greatest motivation to change for the better, and with that in mind, change does come easy.

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