But transformation isn't something you force another person to do. Good luck with that. It's only something you can do. What you can do is act or respond differently and give those on the other side the chance to act or respond differently, too.
A difficult part about change can be the feeling of loss. Maybe you feel the loss of who you were, certain that you are giving up a part of yourself for another person.
Perhaps it is a feeling of loss around something you wanted, sure that you were deserving of it or more.
These feelings might keep you from changing – even wanting to change – but are you missing out on something more by focusing on the loss or even seeing it as a loss. If it was something or a part of you that didn't work in the situation, it might actually be something gained.
Our human history and the world around us stands by this. From the mythological Phoenix, a bird that was reborn from its own ashes to continue on; to various religious texts; to tadpole and frog or caterpillar and butterfly; even the seasons provide us with context to accept change as something more rather than something less.
As fall gives way to winter and the holidays give us time to pause before we reflect and start fresh in the new year, think about what there is to gain when you contemplate change and let this be your guide.
If change is something you are seeking, but making it happen is difficult, consider sitting down with a therapist at PhiladelphiaMFT or wherever you are and make 2016 a year of transformation.
This Topic of the Week was written by Brian Swope, MFT.