Had an interesting discussion at work the other day. My work environment is in a bit of turmoil. Many are going to be losing their jobs soon and my company may be pulling out of Utah entirely within the next 8-12 months. I talked with a fellow worker about life in general and how change is a natural evolution in life. Whether or not we want to experience that change is another matter.
Anytime I go through a cycle of change there is always a bit of uncertainty around the unknown. I can decide to instigate the change in my life or other people or circumstances can dictate that to me. If it’s up to me to take that first step, I’m not always sure 100% of where I’m going. I know that I can’t stay where I’m at (thus the need for the change) but I’m a little hesitant to move to something less familiar than where I find myself currently standing.
Most of the time I start the change process because something has become stagnant; there is no more movement and without movement no growth can occur. I am always looking for new ways to better myself, to increase my knowledge, and hopefully on the way become more balanced. I do not accomplish all these things perfectly and that’s okay. It’s only through failure that we learn how to succeed in our next attempt.
However, sometimes despite my best efforts I can still encounter failure. And that hurts. A lot. I always want to analyze, scrutinize, and evaluate every little thing so I can understand what went wrong when. But sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to the failure. It just is. And I have to accept it.
Along with change typically comes pain in some degree or another. Perhaps it’s just a little growing pain, the stretching of your circle of comfort. Other times it can be down right mean, awful, tear-the-bedsheets-apart pain. This is where the discussion between me and another co-worker really headed into deep territory. We started talking about all the types of pain we can experience and we came down to three broad categories: physical pain, emotional pain, spiritual pain.
I’ve suffered through all three (who hasn’t?) and I’m not sure which one I would say is the hardest to endure. Physical pain just plain hurts; cuts, breaks, bleeds, tears, childbirth (ai yi yi) all lead to one reaction: Ow. Spiritual pain found me pleading Help Me. But maybe perhaps emotional pain and suffering could be the worst of all because instead of Ow or Help Me, I find myself pleading Save Me.
Pain brought on physically can be healed through medicine – sometimes really strong drugs are necessary. Relief from spiritual pain comes from prayer, meditation, scripture study, counseling with church leaders. How to ease emotional pain and suffering? Can’t slap a bandaid on it. You can try some of the methods associated with spiritual pain but it doesn’t always yield the same result. I go running – that helps a little. I try distracting myself with other activities – that helps a little bit more. But it seems that only time can ease that suffering and you just never know how long that is going to take.
Change just sucks sometimes. What’s helpful is having people around you that provide support and a listening ear. At work, the ears have been opened. I guess we’ll all see what happens next.