I have two favorite seasons of the year—Fall and Spring. I think it’s because they aren’t that extreme –I don’t like really cold or hot weather. The challenge is as much as I enjoy both seasons, they affect my allergies in the worst way.
For me, I’ve had to adapt. Despite how much I love the beautiful colors of the Fall or the flowers of the Spring, I have to protect myself from something that brings me joy and yet, causes me pain. My allergies are severe, and I am on alert when I know the culprits that cause problems are in season.
Over the years, untreated allergies have built up, even resulting in anaphylaxis. Had I recognized this and addressed it sooner, my life of multiple meds may look different. I’ve had to make some serious changes.
The Bible reminds us that life is about change and is difficult as it maybe to do something different, we must be aware when it’s time. Refer to Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Just as we pay attention to the changing of the seasons to determine the weather, it’s important to pay attention to the seasons in our lives.
It’s very critical to be aware of when it’s time to stay and when it’s time to walk away. So often, because of our fears or even comfort, it’s easy to stay longer than we need to. We will tolerate toxic relationships, dead end jobs, and situations that deplete our joy but because of obligation, we will remain–hoping that it will get better or change. For many of us, we want to change but we don’t know how or what to do.
Change can be frightening because it’s easy to stay in what’s familiar. We know they don’t like us, but they’ve been our friends for years. We know that the job is going no where but we are afraid to get another job because what if it’s worse?
We know the relationship is dangerous, but we stay because when it’s good, it’s great but when it’s bad, it’s horrible. It won’t change until YOU decide to do something, and it starts with your thinking about the situation.
The authors, Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, wrote Immunity to Change, a groundbreaking book that focuses on why people do not change. In their work, they state even in a desire to improve, we have competing commitments— thoughts that one time served us well to protect us but are no longer helping us.
We make assumptions about the worst thing that can happen if we try to do something different and because of our thinking, we can become immobilized to change.
Their process, the immunity map, serves as an x-ray to illuminate those thoughts that prevent us from creating the change we’d like to see. This work is based on adult development theory.
A study of heart patients demonstrated that even after being informed of the consequences of not changing their habits, only 1 in 7 actually followed through. Those patients knew the danger of their behavior and despite all of the warnings, they did not change. It’s more than just changing our behaviors.
If change was so easy, we’d all do it so quickly. Yet, it’s so much more—it is being aware of how our past, previous experiences and thinking play such a role in shaping our present and future possibilities. Change isn’t easy but it’s knowing when it’s time—especially when our very life (mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically) depends on it.
Being willing to walk away is important. Refer to Matthew 10:13-14. Shaking the dust off your feet is symbolic in knowing that when a situation takes your peace, it’s important to keep your peace.
Dust is made up of fine particles and when it builds up over a period of time, it will require intense cleaning. Dust in the air can cause allergies and impact breathing. When we allow toxicity to build up in our lives, it takes more time and effort to remove it.
Shaking off the dust in our lives is necessary—especially recognizing it sooner than later. When we allow ourselves to stay in places longer than we need to and that are harmful, we run the risk of our health, our safety, and our sanity.
Shake the dust off, keep it moving and recognize when it’s time for change.
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry Podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the Vice President of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit drfroswa.com.