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Parish Nurse Article, August 2017

In Body and Spirit….
Message from the Parish Nurses

How do we face all the changes that occur frequently in our daily lives? It seems that change is inevitable from childhood through old age; we constantly experience changes in some form or way daily. Sometimes they can be anticipated, like marriage, the birth of a child, a new career, or buying a house. Sometimes changes can be involuntary, as in the death of a loved one, relationship changes, illness, or aging. At times the process of change can be painful, and often we’d like to avoid it. Yet change can help us to grow, to shed old habits, and to emerge renewed.

Accept the reality. Part of the reason we dread change is because in many cases we believe it shouldn’t be happening. We become alarmed when we find ourselves confronting situations we never anticipated. Often, we jump to the conclusion that we must have done something wrong to have caused this. We may feel that we ought to be able to stay calm or rise above your difficulties. But it’s natural to be under stress when confronted by unexpected challenges. Accept your feelings and move on.

Take responsibility for yourself. We waste a lot of energy trying to change others and yet the kind of person I have become is determined by how I choose to handle or not handle life’s situations. We have the power and freedom to choose how we will act, speak, and deal with our situations. What can you do, or not do, in a situation, is up to you. Author Leo Buscaglia has said, “We only grow when we assume responsibility for our own joy and happiness.”

Break your change into stages. Life is lived one day (or even one minute!) at a time. We may tend to feel defeated because we are viewing the situation as an overwhelming whole rather than as a series of more smaller, controllable pieces. Setting smaller goals allows you to move ahead without feeling so overburdened.

Look for the positive. There’s an upbeat side to almost every dilemma if we just take the time to look. Consider the change you must make as the start to a good ending! In coping with this change, provide yourself with as wide of a range of responses as you can. Then think about the pluses and minuses of each response and choose a positive direction. You will find yourself feeling more in control of your future destiny!

Living life fully. Transitions take time. At times they can take days, months, or even years, depending on the situation. If you can remind yourself each morning that you are one day closer to your goal (even if that goal is simply to be at peace), you will be keeping this change in perspective. Do what you must as gently and patiently as you can. Surround yourself with people who will affirm your attempts to direct your life in positive ways.

Change is hard to deal with, no doubt about it! We are creatures of habit and change bumps us out of our comfort zone. An unwanted change can make us feel angry or sad about what we have lost. Trust your inner spirit to guide your decisions, and you will find the courage and grace and strength to change and grow.

If you would like to contact the Parish Nurses, please call the church office, or email parish.nurse@graceopfav.org.

Peace and good health to you all!

Lois Askvig and Amy Fleser
Grace Lutheran Church Parish Nurses

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