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The Change of Spring



“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn towards the light and that makes them beautiful.”

–Jim Carrey 

    


All living things are made up of matter. Therefore, we are made of matter just like flowers. Vitamin D, which we get from being in the sun, increases the availability of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that creates a feeling of well-being. In conclusion, if we turn towards the sunlight, we will “bloom”. 



I’m being overly analytical of a spring verse, but it is to drive home the point that change is quite possible and sometimes that change begins with something as small as stepping into the sunshine. Not all change needs to be big and flashy. Small change is just that-change! That’s a good thing. It should be applauded. It is really hard to change especially when others around me might not acknowledge it or work against me. I have heard people tell me, “You always…” or “You never….” and I know I have worked on solid changes. If those terms come up I just point out they are exaggeration terms and we won’t be able to have a productive discussion using those words. I can’t control what other people say or do, but I can keep working on changing and being proud of making those changes. 



Grief has a model for its stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), and change does as well. The Stages of Change (Transtheoretical Model) was created by Prochaska and DiClemente in the late 1970’s when they were studying the differences between people who quit smoking on their own and those who needed assistance. It looks like this:

  1. Precontemplation: People are aware of the issue, but list more cons than pros of changing their behavior. They might not see the issue as a problem (usually a 6 month window). 

  2. Contemplation: People start to think about changing their behavior or feel ambivalent (usually 6 months).

  3. Preparation: People take a small step toward change (usually 30 days).

  4. Action: People modify their behavior (usually 6 months).

  5. Maintenance: People sustain their behavior change (more than 6 months).

  6. Termination: People have no desire to return to their unhealthy behavior. This stage is rarely reached. People usually stay in maintenance. 

I like this model because it helps me understand the process of change. I spend time curious if others feel the way I do. When I see models laid out it lets me know how universal the human condition is and that I am not alone. Other people struggle with change just as I do. Also, in some updated models, the sixth step has been changed to relapse. This is not to be pessimistic, but rather to allow for people to stumble and start over. Consider how difficult addiction is to treat. That is an illness that, like cancer, often requires more that one treatment to be effective. Diabetics take more than one insulin shot. Illnesses of the mind work much the same as illnesses of the body in that they often require multiple treatments.



Zen Shin said, “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” Spring shows us that there is a time for everything, especially change. Trying to force change is like trying to make a flower bloom early. My spring wish for you is that you find peace within and accept and love yourself. If there are any changes you wish to make, please be patient and look at the stages of change. Almost every stage requires half a year or more, so be sure to reflect on how slow true change occurs.


By: Meghan Albright


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