As I began to put together this week’s article, a song started going through my head. It was the Aretha Franklin classic “Chain of Fools”. Now when I was younger, I thought the lyrics were “Change, Change, Change.” Unfortunately, my ability to discern correct lyrics has not gotten any better, but what has improved is my ability to understand change, and make no mistake about it, change is in the air. From the surprising results of the midterm elections to the advancement of Ukraine against the illegal occupation of their country by Russia, to the continuing women-led protests in Iran, there is a noticeable shift in the course of humanity. Maybe the most surprising shift is the coalescence of the conservative media voices against Donald Trump.
Change is in the air.
Truth is, life at every level is a series of changes…the greatest transformations becoming the landmarks of your life, my life, and the life of everything on our planet. The greatest quality of the human experience is that we never stand still, and nothing stirs the soul of humanity more deeply than the anticipation of new landmarks of transformation appearing upon the human horizon. That sense of hope inspires, and it is the presence of that anticipation and hope that signals change that is in the air.
Now many resist any movement forward and vehemently do everything they can to keep things exactly the same. Maybe the most obvious refusal to accept change is the current trend to reject the valid results of any election – purely on a whim and without a shred of evidence. Often the rejection of election results is stated before an election has even commenced!
More concerning is the current trend to reject the long-term advancements already implemented in our society; this trend is never more evident than the Supreme Court’s elimination of Roe vs. Wade and its present attempt to remove Affirmative Action.
While having things stay the same is comfortable, unfortunately, keeping things the same is neither the nature nor the path of our existence. That is why, when it comes to change, the first thing that must happen is acceptance. The acceptance that change is happening all the time, and the acceptance that our path is not to fight this truth, but to acknowledge it.
We must acknowledge the simple truth that while change is not the structure of our existence, it is the path the structure of our existence travels.
Now here is the kicker: Although change is constant, our true challenge is discovering what needs to be changed. What is the next step that we personally and then collectively as humanity must take?
Let me share what is the first and maybe most important clue to that next step:
That next step must always be a step up, for when it comes down to it, “just change” means that something is different.“Just change” could be wearing a different pair of jeans instead of your go-to favorites, choosing a blue shirt instead of white, or choosing to stop wearing workout clothes 24/7/365.
“Just change” means “do this” or “do that”.
On the other hand, every instance of advancement within the history of humankind is a positive change. Positive change is transformational and transformational change is how we make our lives better individually and collectively; for it is a transformational change that guarantees we do not rise only to fall again – and it is a transformational change that assures we continue upward in our individual lives and our human story.
Transformational change is ascension…ascension to a higher level… ascension to a more refined existence…ascension to the next step in our evolution. And know that transformation not only means rising to a higher level. It also means letting go of that which is holding us down. In this way, change is liberation. It is the freedom that reduces the burdens of the past so that we may rise in the true manner of ascension.
So how do we do this?
Since we can’t stop change, it is a fruitless waste of time to fight it. The one thing that we can do is embrace it. Embracing change means we move and work with it…work within it. Embracing change means that we control its effect by how we react to it. We determine if our advancement forward is going to happen with seismic ferocity or as a seamless blending from one phase to another…purely by how we react.
Meaning that if the change is the vehicle by which we travel through life, that vehicle can be very comfortable and even luxurious, or it can be a clunker that jars your whole being as it hits every pothole of life. That is our choice: We can travel the path of refinement in a limo or a junker. That choice of travel is determined purely by how we react to change.
Setting aside the automobile analogy, what is really being said is that although change is inevitable, we can affect its nature…the way it comes about…its force…its form…and most importantly how it affects our lives.
Achieving positive transformational change in every aspect of life is an essential talent…a talent that allows us to travel forward as an adventure…and hopefully, revel in the joy of that adventure.
Truth is, it is foolish to try and resist change. Therefore, to assure that we do not become a link in a chain of fools, we must joyously initiate and embrace change – for change-change-change is definitely in the air!
Seth Adamson is an Author, Teacher and Counselor specializing in Relating and Personal Transformation. His first three books “The Art of Relating” – “hu·man·u·ni·ty” and “raise-istance” are available on amazon.com. Seth is also the founder and Executive Director of the One Humanity Foundation and the Worldwide Coalition for Peace. Seth’s podcast “The Art of Relating” debuts in early 2023.