The Challenge of Change When Living With Pain

It goes without saying that change is not easy for most people. If life has been a certain way for many years and something alters the course of things, it can be a challenge to adapt. It was hard for me many times in my life, none more significant than in 2001 when dystonia and chronic pain entered my life. Life changed on a dime in every way and my bearings were completely out of whack. Eventually, I learned how to adapt and become more patient with the changes, which is what I want to talk about.

Human beings are creatures of habit. We not only develop habits of thinking and behaving; we also create routines in our lives. Even if you feel like a scattered person, scattered is your routine. When anyone’s routine is dismantled, for any reason, learning to adapt to the change takes time. When this happens, be patient with yourself.

Change is often a slow process. It often takes baby steps to get to a place where we went to be or become the person we want to be. Too often we rush the process and don’t reach our destination. We may not even know what the destination is when we are in the midst of change. This is why we must trust the process and that everything will work out just as it was meant to be.

Everyone and everything grows and changes at its own pace. If you look at nature (which I believe to be one of our best teachers), animals, plants, trees, grass, etc., all grow at a different rate. As someone who loves potted plants, and I have dozens around my home and office, I am fascinated by the way they change and grow. Some grow like weeds and some barely change at all. Watching the process unfold in all of them is a great lesson in patience and allowing.

Regardless of the speed of growth and change, plants and all of nature don’t try to speed it up. Nature simply is. It also doesn’t force change or growth. It simply allows. Plants don’t put pressure on themselves or do anything other than naturally allow themselves to grow at the pace that they are meant to grow. We can learn a lot from this and practice doing the very same thing. We are no different if we make that choice.

When you are experiencing change in your life, big or small, try to flow with it rather than resist it. Try to not put too much pressure on yourself to get through it at a certain pace. Let the pace set itself. Take baby steps, which in retrospect you will see are giant leaps towards the person you want to become. There is no timetable. Let the results of your progress determine the timetable and allow yourself to flow with the natural process of things, rather than forcing them to happen. To modify the line from the movie Caddyshack, rather than “be the ball” “be the plant.”

Tom Seaman

Tom Seaman

Tom Seaman is a Certified Professional Life Coach in the area of health and wellness, and author of 2 books: Diagnosis Dystonia: Navigating the Journey and Beyond Pain and Suffering: Adapting to Adversity and Life Challenges. He is also a motivational speaker, chronic pain and dystonia awareness advocate, health blogger, volunteer for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) as a support group leader, and is a member and writer for Chronic Illness Bloggers Network.To learn more about Tom, get a copy of his books (also on Amazon), or schedule a free life coaching consult, visit Follow him on Twitter @Dystoniabook1 and Instagram.

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