by Michael Valenti, MA, TLLP
It has arrived. Amidst a whirlwind of uninvited emotional wrath, it has arrived. You are only afforded a momentary respite to catch your breath and align your thoughts. Time is not your companion, it stops for no one. Inevitably, he or she or him or her spits three venomous words: “people don’t change.” The acidic reverb melts all thought, making your head feel hollow. From the tongue of strangers or loved ones, these three words continue to echo sharply. If possible, you would morph into an owl and spin their sound into oblivion. Desperation intensifies as your bloodshot eyes become crystallized. Alas, the red screams like a Jackson Pollok in the crimson flesh. You relent. There is nothing left to do but steady your resolve and wait for dissipation. A moment of mindfulness is a mindful moment that these words – “people don’t change” – are as temporary as the idea itself. Fallen leaves are vanishing in the glacial winds of winter and nothing remains as is… change is all we do.
Denying Change Denies Self-Actualization
There is no solace to alleviate the particular emptiness that accompanies those denying change. So, in return we raise the ire. First, denying change is an ill-fated notion that discredits our future by prioritizing our past. Second, it extinguishes our hope to become more self-actualized than our current state of being. Third, and fundamental to the argument, claiming that people do not change is simply untrue. Not only is change intrinsic within the human spirit, but we can further choose to be the navigators of human evolution.
Evolution Transcends Change
Every day we transition through frequent changes; some incidental, some monumental. Internally, we change what we think… what we feel… what we believe… and what we sense. Externally, we change the food we eat… the clothes we wear… the places we go… and the people we see. Change is natural. Change is easy. Change for the sake of change is not evolution. Choosing to evolve, as an individual human being, is more dimensional than Darwinian survival. Evolution transcends the premise of changing to a heightened state by incorporating positivity. Thus, evolution is making positive change.
Life is Transient, Question Everything
Embracing evolution means recognizing that everything in life is transient. Everything is temporary. Otherwise, we become ensconced in a mummified existence. We are convinced to wear permanence as a cloak to hide the fear of our evolving identity. Believing in endings is what prevents new beginnings. It stagnates our human desire to pursue change. And, if we aim to change, then should we not seek positivity as a worthy escort? Not for the sake of change itself, but to evolve into enhanced versions of human potential. Embrace evolution and explore all. Stampede the ocean… wrestle the skyline… scorch the Earth. Question everything.
Existence in Motion
As the new year unfolds without permission, consider what it means to change. Then consider what it means to choose evolution. Some will cling to the notion that “people don’t change,” attempting to halt the world from its natural revolution. That taste of nausea is just a fleeting reflex. We are not built for a motionless existence. Our minds are sun-fused generators, creating new thought. Our emotions are ionic bonds, guiding new intuition. Our bodies are instruments of rhythm, calibrating new direction. And our spirits are faith providers, nurturing new belief. Even as he or she or him or her spits venomous proclamation, those three words will vanish in the glacial winds of winter. Indeed, change is all we do… try evolution.
Wayne State University Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free, confidential counseling services to currently registered WSU students. Please visit the CAPS website at www.caps.wayne.edu or call 313.577.3398 for further information about available programs and counseling services.