I have been a little snarky lately. I had to admit that to my hubby just yesterday. I blamed my attitude on the seemingly overwhelming events that have occurred in my life over the past three months. Eight funerals since January often tagged on to business trips. And then last week after my trip from New York, I came home to a flooded basement. And that was with a new sump pump. The plumber said a rock got lodged into the sump pump and threw it out of commission. I lost access to my home office for a week with restoration people traipsing in and out of my house. So I figured I deserved to show a little attitude.
Well, sort of.
I really knew deep inside it was time for a change. This morning in prayer I started writing in my journal and a grand idea came to me. Today is the Tuesday of Holy Week, and many Christians fast during Lent and Holy Week. We often fast from some pleasurable food, right? Today I heard in my spirit to also fast from negative words, from critical words!
And just as quickly, I received the most fascinating idea about change.
Change is really about our choices. We can choose to stay stuck in a negative mindset or we can choose to elevate our thinking and our attitude.
Admittedly, change is not always easy. As a career organizational development (OD) consultant and minister, I’ve been in the “business” of change for well over thirty years. I’ve developed processes to help leaders change. I’ve facilitated sessions with the aim of helping teams change to work together more effectively. And I proclaim messages of transformation and hope that help people change, grow spiritually and become more purposeful.
Yet I am acutely aware that most of us resist change. In fact, a more senior consultant in my first OD role taught me, “Nobody likes change but a wet baby.” Well, like it or not, today, I’m more convinced that,
“None of us can even begin to help others change until we change.”
So today I offer a quick lesson: Change is Choosing Heightened Awareness Necessary for Growth and Empowerment!
Yes, awareness is the first step of any change. Sometimes it’s the awareness of the need to change. Sometimes it’s the awareness of the pain driving us toward change. Sometimes it’s the awareness of the potential joy that can accompany a change. And sometimes it’s the awareness of the possibilities our change can bring others.
Change is about self-awareness. But it’s also about other-awareness–being aware of or sensitive to others and the impact of our behavior and words on them.
I believe we can choose to heighten or amplify our awareness. To do so, we have to position ourselves to listen. To pay attention to what is going inside of us as well as around us. We have to pay attention to what’s going on in our hearts, our minds, our souls. We have to pay attention to what’s going on with other people. Friends. Neighbors. Coworkers. Customers. Clients. People we don’t know personally but we see and hear of their plight.
And then we have to ask the question what does all this mean? What is the significance of these occurrences? What’s the ultimate meaning or purpose to what is going on in and around me? And how must I respond? Then I can choose to respond and not merely react.
Yes, this day I am choosing to let go of my “snarkiness.” We each have our moments of having pity parties, but we can’t stay there. There’s too much for us to do to make a difference in our world.
This is a great day to not only think and write about change but to actually, well, change. Let’s become like a wet baby and start looking forward to change.