I was always so afraid of change.
I was blind, but now I can see.
I was dumb, but now I can speak.
I was deaf, but now I can hear.
“I’m full. I don’t feel hungry,” the young girl said.
Her parents were so worried about her, about her health condition. She hadn’t had a proper meal for 4 months. All that she would eat in a day, for the past 120 days was an apple and great quantities of water (I don’t know if water is ever considered as food).
“Girl, we’re going out for breakfast, come with us, it’s Sunday.” Her mom was trying to woo her daughter back to life, to resuscitate her.
“No… I said NO. I’m not hungry!” the girl yelled.
She was only 13. No one knew how to handle this difficult child. Her weight had dropped tremendously to 35kg. Slowly, the acids were eroding her stomach. Unknowingly, this innocent child was starving herself to death.
It wasn’t until the 5th month that she was admitted to hospital. She was in the grips of an eating disorder called anorexia nervosa. All that remained of her previous self was 25-kilograms – a bag of feather-light bones.
This kid that I’m talking about was ME! This is my story and my experience with anorexia nervosa is a chapter of my life that I do not care to revisit.
This period of my life contained a tough lesson in learning about Change – in being able to accept myself WHOLE again.
Truth be told, this lesson is not about an eating disorder. The root of this problem stemmed from my mind (at least in my case).
I was so afraid of change.
I couldn’t accept the physical changes of puberty.
I couldn’t adapt to a new school.
I couldn’t make any new friends.
I thought everybody was judging me. At school, everyone was staring at me, laughing at me.
I had no one to talk to.
I wanted to change my environment but it was not within my control.
I had no control over my life.
I held onto the Only thing over which I had control- My Diet – in order to resist change.
The bottom line is that I didn’t want to grow up.
I hate change. I’m afraid of change. I want to be a kid forever.
We all know we can never win this battle and I was so badly defeated. Still, I was reborn. Now I’m happy to write this out 18 years later.
NATURE is my best teacher.
Nature never resists change.
Water, in the form of raindrops falling from the sky joins the river. The sun heats up river water and turns it into water vapor, forming clouds. Soon the clouds get heavy and water falls back to Earth as rain. Water is teaching us about change.
So… we thought the strong mountains could resist change, they always look the same. What we don’t notice is that every day they’re eroded by rain and wind. They’re slightly different day to day.
So… we see the birds flying freely in the sky every morning. What we fail to notice is that their songs, behavior and feathers change according to season.
And we often forget that even our Mother Earth is changing every day.
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Nature is telling us: Change!
Everything changes. Nothing stays the same. Learn to flow with it, be adaptable, like the water that takes so many forms.
If we fail to flow with change, we’ll experience so much stress. It’s like an artery blocked by blood clots.
Change can be frightening and terrifying or exciting and challenging.
We need to have self-confidence, to accept and make peace with ourselves in order to respond to change. If we aren’t comfortable with ourselves, we make it very hard to let go and accept change.
We must learn to deal with change.
We should not attach to anything at any moment- our appearance, our wealth, our status or our loved ones. Because everything is constantly changing.
It took me 10 years to understand all this. I wish someone could have walked into my life at age 13, and held my hand to tell me this…
1. Face the Change
Identify the change that happens every day, every minute, and every second.
List 3 things that are changing in your life today. Don’t judge. It’s time to be honest with yourself.
2. Learn to accept change.
After so much effort and work, we believe we know our present world. We become so comfortable that we refuse to change. We know we can’t go wrong if we stay the same. We’re willing to make any adjustment so that everything continues the same.
“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
The only way to live is to Change. For every change in your life, treat it as an opportunity to grow, to be better. Say “Yes” to change and see the beauty in it.
Look for aspects in the change for which you’ll be grateful. I was nearly pushed over the verge into death. I’m grateful that now I see how confused and ignorant I was at that time.
Observe at least one aspect of the change you’re experiencing, for which you’re grateful.
3. Embrace change
Once you understand that change cannot be avoided, you begin to find peace with change and be grateful for it. You begin to understand that everything will gradually work for you. It takes time.
Follow the laws of nature and you will see what lies behind the change.
I know I cannot change this painful part of my past when I suffered with anorexia. However, if there’s only one thing you can remember after reading this, let it be this- Change is not the problem. Resistance to change is.