Once in a meeting at work the HR director asked the group ” How do you react to change?”. My answer was “How I react depends on whether I chose to make the change or if it was imposed on me.”

Many people fear change. Some actively embrace it. Many factors can affect how we react to change, and change comes in many forms.

There is developmental change. We plant seeds, they germinate, grow into plants. Like my tomato plant in the photo (other seed retailers are available). Gardeners may be disappointed if this change doesn’t happen. Children grow up and there is joy in seeing them develop into their own capable person. But there may also be sadness at the loss of closeness or caring carefully for a small vulnerable baby. Developmental change brings loss as well as gains.

Other changes come from our decisions: what we decide to do for a job, where we live, who we live with. Yet these choices are also influenced from outside, and not all opportunities are available to everyone. They are also influenced by what we believe is possible for us.

Where we feel we can influence change we may feel empowered, and disempowered when it feels like we have few choices.

In one sense change is inevitable. Growing older is a change. Any change, even one we have actively chosen can leave us feeling disoriented, confused, or regretful. Talking about how you feel about change can help you find your way through it.

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