Wednesday, January 05, 2005

"Change is the only thing we can count on for sure"

"We count on a high degree of sameness not only in ourselves, but also in the people we care about. No matter how much we may complain about our difficult brother or critical mother, we still count on the fact that they will be pretty much the same person the next time we visit them. We may want them to change-- but only so much, and only in the ways we desire. Others feel similarly about us. It's not just the capacity to change, but also the capacity to resist change, that stabilizes our sense of identity, our continuity with the past, and our connections with others.

Change is an anxiety-arousing business because whenever you make a change, you can't make only one. There is no guarantee where it will stop. ... ..."

"... ... Every new place we visit --be it a foreign country, a budding friendship, a child's birth, or a new job-- evokes a new world within us. To avoid the anxiety inherent in change and growth, we may doggedly cling to the familiar. By clutching tightly to the safety of sameness, we may try to keep everyone and everything as sure as sunrise and as fixed as the stars. But it's not possible. Life is process, movement, and transformation. Try as we may to "hold back the dawn," change is the only thing we can count on for sure."

Harriet Learner, Ph.D. (2004).
Fear and Other Uninvited Guests : Tackling the Anxiety, Fear, and Shame That Keep Us from Optimal Living and Loving (pg. 74, 77). Harper Collins.

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