It is July 17th. SUMMER IS HALFWAY OVER! It is going fast!! Whether this speed brings you joy or sadness, it seems that summer always moves a lot quicker than the rest of the seasons do.
The pace at which summer has moved so far brings my thoughts to an ever nearer event. The end. Well, the end of summer that is. For everyone, the end of summer brings autumn and autumn brings change. What do thoughts of change do to your emotions? Everyone is different and there are a wide range of feelings associated with change: excitement, sadness, joy, anxiety, etc. I for one am not a change kind of person. This fall I will be starting college! Sometimes I am super excited and think this big change sounds fun! On other occasions, though, the change seems drastic and makes me anxious. I love this time right now and contemplating moving away from my family really makes me sad.
So what do we do when change stares us in the face and makes us squirm? Do we shrink? Never! We grow! So I, an amateur change accepter, would like to offer two solutions—these are for me and anyone else who struggles with change—to feeling confident and happy when new events come our way and consume our thoughts.
First, I will suggest living in the now.
When I am feeling sad about change, I am reminded of a John Mayer song, “Stop This Train.” The lyrics compare time to a train and John Mayer laments his inability to stop that train and avoid change. Towards the end of the song, John Mayer sings of his father telling him:
“Don’t stop this train
Don’t for a minute change the place you’re in
And don’t think I couldn’t ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly, we’ll never stop this train”
As his father has grown older he has left his hopes of stopping time and avoiding change behind. He has decided to accept the moment and situation he is living in. I love it! Instead of stressing about the future and being brought low by inability to preserve our current situation, we can embrace our situation every day. Wasting time on worrying about the future is futile, while embracing the moment and finding joy is 100,000 times more fulfilling.
Second I will suggest looking for constants in our lives.
So a big change is coming. What will remain the same? There are so many things that we can hold tight to and let those carry us through change.
Our closest relationships will remain. Whether we hold on to close friends or our family members, those we love will always be there cheering us on.
Another constant is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Where ever we go or whatever we are going through, the gospel is there. Focusing on going to church, studying scriptures, and building our testimonies can strengthen us and lift us through anything.
Also, we have our passions. Whether we love soccer, reading, hiking, or crafting, the things we love to do will stick with us through every change.
I also love to find a constant in nature. All around us is the beautiful earth that God created, and enjoying nature can bring peace and remind us of God’s love. Recently I came across the hymn “God Is Love,” hymn #87. The words to this hymn brought me so much joy because they reminded me that the love of God for us can be seen in everything we see. Here are the words to the first verse:
- Earth, with her ten thousand flow’rs,
Air, with all its beams and show’rs,
Heaven’s infinite expanse,
Sea’s resplendent countenance—
All around and all above
Bear this record: God is love.
These and the rest of the words from this hymn bring me happiness because they remind me that the love of God for each of us can be seen in everything we see.
So it is July 17th! Let’s go out and live our lives now, enjoying each moment and not letting future events bother us. Let’s find joy and look for constants. I know this will carry us through any change and every day.