Most of us seek some kind of security, stability and safety amidst the craziness of this life. We live in such an unpredictable and ever-changing world, however, that the so-called “security” we seek is often an illusion. Recently we’ve had several very close friends and neighbors who have decided to move to different states. Their reasons are all good; they’re doing what’s best for their families or their careers.
Unfortunately for those of us left behind, it feels like another loss. As a result, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting about life and wondering how do people best cope with so much change?
Perhaps I could be accused of romanticizing the past, but I wonder if our ancestors might have been better off. I imagine being born in a small village or town and never leaving, spending all the years of one’s life surrounded by extended family and friends. A place where everyone knows you and your family. Of course, that might get boring after a while, but would the sense of safety and stability compensate for it? I’m not sure, and I’ll probably never find out, but there are days when I wistfully desire it.
For those of us who connect with people deeply, living in such a transient world makes life difficult at times. I admire people who can pack their stuff and go on to the next adventure that life has to offer without seemingly blinking an eye. How freeing that must be.
Even though I’m quite aware that change is unavoidable, I don’t like it very much. What’s ironic is the fact that I teach my clients that real growth typically takes place outside of our comfort zone. Yet I wish that everyone I love and I’m connected to stayed put.
Experiencing loss pushes us outside of our comfort zone whether we like it or not. I guess I’m a reluctant participant in this type of growth. So how can we prepare ourselves better to deal with this constant change? One way would be to live life with a certain amount of detachment. The positives are that we never get too sad or feel abandoned because we never allow ourselves to get too close to people. So they come and go, and we’re mostly unaffected by it.
The negative, of course, is that we don’t really bond and create deep relationships in our lives. The other option is to get close to people and just deal with the feelings that come up once things change. In the end, I’d rather feel deeply and connect and face the consequences once people leave than keep to myself and never get too attached.
If I had a magic wand, I would make sure that all our loved ones, family and friends, lived close to each other all the time. Now that would be heaven on earth! Perhaps that is why heaven has such a strong appeal. It’s not just getting to live with God again but also with all those we loved and connected with in this lifetime.
What makes this world such an incredible place is the opportunity we have to meet and grow to love so many people. Knowing that one day we can all be together forever is just the icing on the cake.
Dr. Elia Gourgouris is a nationally known speaker, relationship coach, and the president of LDSCoaching.com. With over 20 years of experience, he has inspired thousands of individuals and couples to find greater happiness and fulfillment, both in their careers and their personal lives. He holds a degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. in psychology. Dr. Gourgouris speaks to groups around the country regarding women’s issues, self esteem, communications skills, and relationships. He is also a favorite presenter at both BYU and BYU-ID Education Weeks, and Time Out for Women conferences. He is the author of “DTR: What You Need to Know Before You Get Married” and he has an upcoming CD entitled “The Multi-Platinum Marriage: Going from Just Surviving to Thriving!” He and his wife, Sona, live near Boulder, Colorado, with their children.