As a youth and family counselor, one of the biggest challenges I observed was families adjusting to change.

As a youth and family counselor, one of the biggest challenges I observed was families adjusting to change. It was generally agreed that something wasn’t working, and a recommendation for modifying unfavorable behaviors was encouraged. Quick fixes are ideal, but when problems are deep-rooted, or behaviors have become a habit, it takes time to change. After a week or two, many families wanted to discontinue the modification, because it “wasn’t working.” As we’d continue to process, I’d encourage that positive change will require time and patience.

It is not unusual to be challenged by change. Whether it is in our family, community, at work, in our nation or elsewhere, change brings about fear. Fear for the unknown, for failure, success, loss, upsetting others or perhaps fear of leaving a comfort zone. There is no question that it’s different, perhaps something we haven’t seen before, we don’t have a guarantee that it will turn out just right, it may seem too difficult and it can be scary. I love the quote, If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.— Author Unknown. It always reminds me that change can be a beautiful thing.

At the national convention our president encouraged, “I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now. Yes, our path is harder -- but it leads to a better place.” Change is a sign of growth. It’s a transformation and it takes time and patience. Have you heard the story of the man and the cocoon?

A man brought home a cocoon one day and watched it for several hours. When the butterfly seemed to be struggling to force its body through the little hole that was started, the man decided to help by taking a pair of scissors and snipping the remaining bit of the cocoon. As the butterfly emerged, the man was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The wings never dried or expanded, and its body never grew. The butterfly was never able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle were required for the butterfly to be able to fly. The butterfly must push its way through the tiny opening to force the fluid from its body and wings. Only by struggling through the opening, can the butterfly’s wings be ready for flight once it emerges from the cocoon. Sometimes in our resistance to the struggle and challenge of change, we cripple ourselves.

Be open to change, let go of your fear, be patient with the attention and time it requires and you will experience an amazing and surprising sense of peace! I leave you with two inspirational quotes about change that caught my attention:

By changing nothing, nothing changes. — Tony Robbins

Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. — C.S. Lewis