Awareness and Acceptance

Mixed media – Words: Nathaniel Braden

This video shows one of the last pages in the 5 Stages of Grief Journal I have been completing since my father passed away. The text reads as follows:

The first step towards change is awareness, the second step is acceptance.

-Nathaniel Braden 2014

I liked the words because they remind us that in order for change to work, we must first realize change is needed then accept the things that have changed. It can be easy to go back to the way things were. To try “the new way” only to return without even knowing we have gone back to the way it always was.

Sort of like changing your hairstyle, only to end up combing it back to the same way you’ve always worn it then blaming it on the stylist. Chances are they cut your hair exactly as you asked, you forget and went on autopilot each morning and your hair now looks exactly like it did before your haircut. Habits can be hard to break, change can be difficult to manage when we have done it a certain way for so long. So that first step, awareness that change is here, is vital. Without it, we hit autopilot and forget anything is different.

For us to change long term, we must accept the change – the loss, the gain, the innovative and the radical – and work hard to do things differently. This means consciously acting, thinking and practicing things differently. Taking what was easy and thoughtless to mindful and intentional until what has changed becomes the way things are done, then autopilot starts again with the change being the new normal.

Whew! That takes a lot of effort. Yes! Change is hard. What is worse is staying the same and watching your world pass you by. Only to wake up one day and realize you are so far behind that change is no longer a simple thing, it is a monumental ordeal. In the end today’s little change is better than gigantic change we put off until it was no longer an option. Choose to be a participant in the changes going on in your life. Stop fighting it, embrace the exciting, new things and be brave. It will be better, get easier and before you think about it again you will have a new normal.

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