Change: A Dirty Word

Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong ~ N. R. Narayana Murthy

Change.

The word itself feels like a dirty word rolling off my tongue. Almost as if I should excuse myself or apologize after using it. It’s a word that evokes all sorts of emotions for me, including dread, anxiety, anticipation, and grief. It’s an inevitable part of all aspects of life, yet remains a dirty word, one that conjures fear and avoidance.

Why does a simple, common word cause such a reaction?

Winter changes slowly into summer and I welcome that change.

As a nurse, change was my mainstay. Everything was in a constant state of flux. Patient conditions, treatment options, policies and procedures were fluid, dynamic, evolving. Shift and staffing models, the way of doing business and the way we did our business never stayed still, it was always changing. Many struggled, for me I expected, anticipated and embraced this change. It was my work world, it was my job, my profession, it was easy.

In my personal world, change is so much more unexpected, traditionally catching me off guard. Shouldn’t everything and everyone stay the same?

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading ~ Lao Tzu

All growth involves change. Changing attitudes, beliefs, ways of thinking, being, doing. Change of career, change of path, change of the people surrounding you. And all change brings grief.

Change management theory has equated change to the stages of grief, the ones by Kubler-Ross. In any world, work or personal, we need to give ourselves, and others permission and time to griebe the change and the loss of what once was. Not all change is bad, but even positive change means the end of something. And that end is grieved. In grief, we often start in denial, and go through bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance. We bounce around and definitely don’t move in any defined order for any set length of time.

Perhaps allowing time to grieve what once was will allow for a greater acceptance and understanding of what now is. And really, how things are now won’t last forever, this too will change.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything ~ George Bernard Shaw

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14 thoughts on “Change: A Dirty Word

  1. Thank you for the work you do as a nurse. Its one of the toughest jobs that you guys don’t get the recognition that you deserve for he hard work you do. It takes a special person to be be with people in the most difficult times of their lives

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    1. Thank you!! And thank you so much for reading. I feel honoured to call myself a nurse, it’s challenging but so rewarding! 💚

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  2. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get anywhere since I’m always pushing for change. I guess I’m never satisfied. Or maybe change simply registers different biochemical reactions for me than it does for you (excitement, novelty, and positive anticipation instead of dread, anxiety, and grief) but we have different genes and life experiences, to be sure. Change, in reality, is neither good nor bad, or rather can be either or both.

    Great Shaw quote; I’m all about progress!

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    1. Yes!!! I agree with change, especially when I look at US politics 😉 but recently I’ve needed to make changes with the people around me and I’ve found that harder to do…but with self growth and change, sometimes we recognize our surroundings as not supportive or we’ve evolved past that point. Either way, moving in and changing from those patterns have brought some loss and grief. But I’m looking forward to the next challenge and the next change!!! And I don’t think you need to wonder if you’ll get anywhere…look at where you’ve already been!! 😊

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      1. I just read a section of Harari where he indicates that the most important lesson to teach youths in school to prepare them for the future might be the ability to deal with, indeed embrace, change. The next generations might have to reinvent themselves over and over and over again.

        I have recently had to push out many negative influences in my life, and I’m better for it. But there was definitely the stages of grief along the way. Changing patterns is hard, even when you embrace change!

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      2. Thank you for sharing! Reinventing themselves…so true. Gone are the days of working the same 9-5 for 40 years…or it’s exceedingly rare.
        And likely for the better. Routine, as comfortable as it is, can stunt me and my perceptions.

        I’m loving this discussion!! 😊

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      3. The 9-5, 40-year part is almost a direct quote! Automation and AI will supplant most of what we learn to do today, which makes it all the more important to base essential human needs on something other than earnings and profit.

        Someone pointed out to me that he was fond of a particular (philosopher? writer?) who had set up his routines to exact precision for the very outcome of freeing up more time for frolic (or some such). Routines are important, let’s just make sure our calendars have as much “free time” as possible, too!

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    1. That’s a great quote!! I’m putting it on my wall 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know change is important, but I am so bad at it. I love my comfort zone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me tooooooo!! I groan at the “life begins outside your comfort zone.” What’s wrong with being comfortable? 😊 I do believe there’s a difference between comfortable and stagnant. Thanks for reading!!

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  4. What a great post. Life is really nothing but change, we either embrace it or fight it.
    Well done

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! It’s true you can fight change but you can’t stop it. Embrace it and anticipate it!! Thank you for reading 💚

      Like

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