KEVIN L. COLE, JR.
As humans, we often find ourselves inexplicably terrified of the unknown. We’ve been afraid of new frontiers, retreated from the thought of being engulfed by foreign cultures, and killed out of the fear of practicing other religions. New worlds and exotic languages might leave the most valiant trembling in horror, but there is something more sinister at the root of our fears. The deepest, darkest nightmare that consumes one of little faith to the point of seeking the light of divine intervention from the Most High is change.
Who doesn’t fear change for at least a split-second? If we are aware of an imminent change, we tend to have slight nervous breakdowns the closer we get to said change. It doesn’t matter if we are looking forward to it or not. If the change is unpredictable, we tend to feel overwhelmed by the unexpected unfamiliarity.
All throughout our lives we experience a change in seasons. We have seasons filled with laughter, seasons of mourning, seasons when we receive, and seasons when we lose. To most, nothing feels worse than losing. The fear of losing jobs. The confusion after losing opportunities. The pain from losing relationships. These losses, and more, could potentially place individuals in a state of depression. Agony may surround our hearts, while hopelessness captures our minds and clouds our ability to acknowledge the beauty in losing.
The beauty in losing is that with every loss comes an opportunity to gain. We gain the chance to avoid the dread of remaining in a place we don’t desire to be. We realize that the correct opportunity will present itself. We even lose ourselves only to find who we are. Essentially, losing is just the universe telling us that our time is up, and something better awaits us on the other side of the loss.
Take the threat of an inevitable layoff. No one enjoys being laid-off, even if it’s by a company that we don’t particularly like. Something about being told you aren’t good enough to keep is demoralizing. After losing that job that we’ve devoted time and energy to, we find ourselves feeling incomplete. We might even lose courage in our abilities due to a lack of self-esteem. We even forget how much we disliked the job. We forget how we used to feel trapped with no sight of an escape, without realizing the beauty in losing the job. Although we have just lost the comfort with knowing that we have a stable income, we’ve gained freedom. A freedom that provides us with a second chance to find a job that will better suit our career aspirations, essentially on another company’s dime – if fortunate enough to receive a nice severance package. We have now gained the chance to reach a desired destination.
What of the “perfect” opportunities that avoid us? That opportunity of a major company taking notice of your artwork, yet deciding not to give you a chance to show the world what you are made of. Where’s the beauty in that? Fortunately, in today’s age, we are more than able to flirt with success after cutting out the middle man. In the age of social media, there are no limitations to sharing your creations with the world. If we are able to effectively use social media, and other resources around us, we will actually end up with a better opportunity than the one we originally desired. Now instead of being someone’s expendable worker, we can build our own empire.
Alas, love. There is nothing worse than “agreeing” that you two would be better off separate, especially if you were the one nodding yes to keep the look of pain from covering your face. This person is the one you’ve learned about and grew with for the last few months/years/decades, and now it’s over. To be honest, it’s not that you can’t, but you chose not to try to function in life without them; however, they are no longer around. You contemplate a number of ways to try to win them back. You pray for the return of that comfort of someone you’ve studied, but real life is not like the movies. You’re on your own. Although it might seem unmanageable in the beginning, it turns out to be one of the most beautiful losses. From losing your “love”, you lose yourself, and, consequently, end up finding who you are (more on this in future writing). After you find who you are and what you can do, there will never be anything that can deter you from coming face to face with all of your aspirations. You end up experiencing one off the greatest wins after one of the most painful losses all because you decided to accept all of the discomfort that came with the change.
Are we wrong for fearing change? Not necessarily. It’s normal to be afraid of the break in monotony; however, we should be more than willing to escape the chains of comfort that, at times, leave us in a stagnant state. Besides, it’s not just the fear of change that keeps us from reaching our aspirations, it’s our reaction to it. Nelson Mandela once said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” We must overcome fear and embrace change. A more fulfilling life awaits you. Your time is up!