By Grow Member Jonathan Mullen

We have no direct control over life. The one constant is that life continuously flows and changes. Fortune follows misfortune, endings follow beginnings, and seasons and cycles turn. To live life, one must embrace change.

To start, it is worth noting that we cannot change everything, as the AA line goes: Give me the courage to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, and the wisdom to know the difference. We often must accept the many ups and downs of life as we do with the weather outside. Also, we cannot change other people. We can aid them to be reasonable.

But inside we are freer. We can change our thinking, attitudes, and actions. In our thinking, we can choose to be grounded in truth and reality. Talking with other friendly and healthy minds can help here. Outside reality is constantly in flux, so we need to be flexible in our thinking and attitudes. In one circumstance we can choose an attitude of kindness and gentleness but in another situation, it would be wise to be strict and firm. If you have the awareness, you have the choice to change.

Likewise, we can control our actions despite how we feel. If we wish to respond to life fully and live life fully, we must break out of entrenched habits and cultivate awareness for the ways of life. We all need to overcome fear.

Change can cause us to fear. Change is new and unknown. There is built-in insecurity and adventure in life. That’s what makes it alive. To be alive we too must step outside our rigid shell of fear and surrender to the flow of life. When life changes, we do too. What was good when we were 8 is not good when we are 38. What was wise when we were single is not in a relationship. Life differs between high summer and the depths of winter. On a journey, we push ahead and then we rest, we are always choosing the best route. There are times to climb mountains and times to enjoy the view. There are always beginnings and endings and new beginnings.

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