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Grace Amidst Change

By Cristina Stanger, Self-Advocacy Liaison, WRFN
*This article was originally published in the Family Pulse Newsletter August 2022*

 

I’m finding myself in the midst of a lot of changes lately. We, at WRFN, are transitioning back to in-office work. We are doing so with the absence of my well-respected and loved colleague, Steph, who passed away this spring. My family is moving houses. My children are reaching new milestones. So to be completely honest, I am writing this article for myself as much as I am writing for you, the reader. I think we can all use a reminder to be gentle with ourselves, especially in the midst of changes.
 
Heraclitus is known to have said, “Change is the only constant.” (Personally, I always thought dirty laundry was the one constant in life, but since worn clothes change from clean to dirty, I suppose Heraclitus accounted for that too). If anything, living during a pandemic makes the reality of change even more apparent. Benjamin Franklin took Heraclitus’ statement one step further saying, “Change is the only constant in life. One’s ability to adapt to those changes will determine your success in life.” Well that sounds daunting, doesn’t it? This may be true, but it’s certainly not easy. Guess what? Sometimes I just don’t feel like adapting, it’s hard work for me. I was once told by a professional that, “change is hard for everyone, but it seems especially hard for you,” – so I don’t think my aversion to change is imagined.
 
And because making constant adjustments is very draining, I find myself working through frequent negative thoughts, frustrations and self-criticisms; this is what brings me to the concept of grace, both for myself and for others. The word ‘grace’ can have many different meanings, but I am thinking of it in terms of being considerate, kind, or merciful. In order to counteract those ominous quotes about change, I thought I would look up a few about grace to help see me through.

  • “Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.” - Max Lucado
  • “Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part.” - Philip Yancey
  • “For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them” - St. Augustine of Hippo
  • “Grace means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame.” - Brene Brown (I will augment this last quote with my own spin – Grace means that all of my mistakes now serve to facilitate my adaptation to change, rather than serving guilt or shame).

 
Grace to get me through these challenging times:

  • I am struggling with the loss of flexibility that I had with remote work. Grace.
  • My colleagues and I are learning to work without Steph’s physical presence. Grace.
  • My children need more mom time, more reassurance, and more cuddles as we move. Grace.
  • I can’t remember where I packed an important item. Grace.
  • My approach to pandemic public health measures is different from those of other citizens. Grace.
  • I am too tired or sad to do anymore than the bare minimum. Grace.

 
So if you find yourself coping with a lot of change these days, as I am, maybe you’ll benefit from reading these quotes about grace too. Let’s all be a little gentler with ourselves.

Rachel Cave at 3:03 PM
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