Change is the only constant. Grasping the full meaning of that is difficult. Change is the only constant. Change is happening all the time, in innumerable ways, all day, everyday. The world around us is changing. The world within us is changing. On a biological level, the earth is continuously evolving, shifting, and transforming. Everyday decisions are made, life paths are altered, and things are put in place we cannot even begin to conceive. We, too, are constantly changing biologically. Our bodies are aging, growing, and eventually shrinking. Our cells reproduce without our knowing. Energy is transformed. Fat is stored. Everything is changing, all of the time.
As humans we regard change in one of a few ways: we try to avoid it, we try to control it, or we try to become a part of it. “Everyone thinks of changing the world,” wrote Leo Tolstoy, “but no one thinks of changing himself.” Change can scare us into thinking we have to find a way to keep everything the same. In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley wrote, “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” Many a man understands that such an undertaking is a nearly impossible feat. Many men have turned to drugs and alcohol to try and cope with change that felt unmanageable to them. Change requires adaptation. When we start to work on ourselves, we learn to adapt. We learn to embrace change. As men in recovery, we have to learn how to be in acceptance of change. Change happens. Some of it we can control and some of it we cannot. What we can always control is our thoughts, our attitudes, and our behaviors. “You’re always you, and that don’t change,” wrote Neil Gaiman in The Graveyard Book, “and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
There is something you can do about change, by changing the way you approach it. Open-mindedness is a critical theme in recovery because it helps you realize that change happens. Bringing mindfulness to change will help you be more present and have more awareness to change instead of feeling inundated by sudden change. Taking the therapeutic tools you gain in treatment and applying them to change helps you be resilient in the face of adversity. Maintain an air of curiosity. Rather than be consumed by the experience of change, observe the change and try to gain some wisdom from it.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program located in Portland, Oregon. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men learn how to live sober with adventurous lives. Call us today for information: (855) 969-5181.