Change, the only constant in human life!

Some of us are champions of change, others oppose it with all our might. In this new dossier, in collaboration with the magazine SpirituElles, discover the mechanisms of change and how to face it with flexibility and serenity.

In the space of a few years, the ultra-dependent infant of fifty centimeters will become able to ride a scooter, cut his meat on his own and hold a reasoning! What changes! But what is so glaring during the first years of life remains a constant of our species: human life is a perpetual change, made of growth, movement, ruptures and evolution, losses, too.

How do we position ourselves in the face of this reality? Why does it sometimes scare us? How does the Christian faith fit into this dynamic?

Sacred change or sacred change?

Christians have in common a major interior change: their conversion to Jesus Christ. When they tell what happened to them, their story often has a “before” and an “after”. Their attitude, their centers of interest, their outlook on life and sometimes even certain traits of their personality change in a supernatural way, when they realize their need to be saved and agree to entrust the reins of their life to God. .

“Change their behavior,” John the Baptist was saying (Matt. 3, 2) to the crowd, as he prepared their hearts for the teachings that Jesus would give them later. From this perspective, the Christian woman who accepts to entrust the control of her life to God becomes a subscriber to change: she is transformed by the constant renewal of her intelligence (Rom. 12, 2) which enables her to discern the way which 'she must follow.

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush"

There are social components to change. The sociologist Pierre Bourdieu affirmed in the last century that the human being seeks to build a life which resembles the environment which he knew, being small, and that he passes the various decisions which he must take for his life to the sifted through its "habitus", that is to say, its social DNA. This can range from the choice of his profession to that of the spouse, through the music listened to or sports that attract.

Making choices outside of this “safe and comfortable zone” tends to be scary. By enlarging the line: becoming a nurse, like your own mother, will be a more popular choice than becoming a farmer, if the family does not own an estate. And less destabilizing.

The pedagogy goes further. Jean Piaget demonstrates that any new learning, whatever it is, is destabilizing, because it makes the learner go through a phase of accommodation, during which he questions his old beliefs in order to integrate the novelty, to assimilate it. and create a new balance.

Desire for change ?

If change has a destabilizing side and requires energy to adapt, why do we often find ourselves actively wanting to do so? “Deep down, we know that times of change make us grow and mature, that we will emerge stronger”, summarizes Anya Monnier, psychologist and specialist in Christian helping relationships. "Entering the labor market or motherhood are the first examples, but unemployment or bereavement as well, even if of course nobody wants to go through that".

We can also emotionally over-invest in change. "It will be better when ..." We are getting closer to the headlong rush. In this case, starting by rearranging your daily life, so that it is a source of more satisfaction leads to a better result than the respite temporarily offered by "the emotional plasters" of successive changes. If it is impossible to rearrange your current reality, changing the way you look at your own daily life (read the article on page 34) is essential. And asking God to grant us to see our life as a glass half full allows us to gain serenity.

How to really change?

Finally, some desires for change concern our habits. No longer complaining, arriving on time, playing sports or reading your Bible more, how do you get there? Cindy Ghys, Christian life coach, gives some very simple ideas:

“When you want to change a habit, you have to aim for progression rather than perfection. Success is like a staircase to climb. It is about marking out stages, small achievable steps rather than wanting to be violent with oneself. We look at the final objective and we wonder about at least ten steps / intermediate actions. "

Because changing, "it takes the time that it must take," notes the author of J'arrête être parfait (ed. Eyrolles).

And it is normal for our brain to resist it first. Changing a habit is creating a new neurological path. This is saying to his brain: "You see the highway on the left, it's over for you." You will have to go to the right, where there is the jungle, where you have never been and where it is dark and uncomfortable ”.

The good news is that by dint of perseverance and determination we will clear a new path, which will become a path, then widen to the status of second highway. The first will always exist, but it will be easy for us to choose the second. During this period of transition and discomfort, what can help is having a partner of progression by your side. Someone of confidence to whom one is accountable and in the presence of whom it is possible to show oneself vulnerable.

Rebecca Reymond

Find more articles on the topic of women on Spirituality,  the magazine that brings together Christian women from the Francophonie.

Discover the other articles in the “Long live the change! ":

When change doesn't happen

Danielle, nurse and mother of four boys stays the course

Testimonials: Suzanne and Anya, flexible in the face of change

9 ways to anticipate change

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