Changing our Perspective on Change

Rachel Beitler Rachel Beitler November 28, 2022
A timelapse sequence shows a monarch butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.

The Purpose of Pain and Chaos

Can I please have some more pain and chaos?” Said nobody ever—but the truth is, any area of pain or chaos we may be experiencing is an attempt to alert us to what we need to change.

The pain is saying to us, “hey you! I’m trying to get your attention here, because “this” isn’t working anymore, so can you please make some changes?!” Nobody likes pain and chaos, but there is a purpose and positive intention, which is to serve as a notification center that alerts us to what is no longer serving us. Unfortunately, these pain signals too often get ignored, and get little acknowledgment for their efforts, it’s a thankless job, really! 

Our perception and attitude towards change tends to get in the way of our healing, for example, we may fear that it would require more effort and discomfort to change, than it would be to stay the same. Change is uncomfortable. But trying to resist, deny, or delay change is like opposing the nature of life itself, which is at its essence in a continuous flux of change and transformation!

When pain knocks on our door, it will tap lightly. If we don’t respond, it will tap louder. Then, louder still. If we continue to ignore it, the pain will hit us over the head with a saucepan! If you know of anyone who has successfully avoided the body’s pain signals in an effort to remain “comfortable” or “happy”, please reach out to me directly, lol. 

Let Yourself “Be”

It’s easy to get discouraged by the critical- mind chatter saying to us, “it needs to be perfect,” or “things should be moving faster”. The change process is like learning to do a handstand; it is expected that we fall, and thump, over and over again. Change is not supposed to be mastered easily! Criticism, judgment, and shame are not, and will never be, agents of change. 

In an effort to change my own health, I sought assistance from Allison Musso (one of our naturopathic practitioners here at the Center for Holistic Medicine). Allison created a personalized remedy to support my body– naturally, energetically and holistically, only to learn that I had used it three to four times, then stored it in my cupboard to collect dust! She said to me, “Love the honesty, but if nothing changes, nothing changes…” Oh yeah, I actually have to make an effort here. Keeping everything the same means we’re not really changing or growing at all. Embrace failure, it’s natural! 

Understanding Change Through The Lens of Nature

Do you suppose the trees are uncomfortable when they shed their leaves in the Fall?

Change is that unknown space between the person we’ve been, and the person we are becoming. To live in the limbo, and stand in the transitional space, can be unsettling. I invite you to think of this unknown space as a portal of creation that is not supposed to be known to us. Our unchecked expectations about how we engage with the change can make the process unnecessarily difficult.  

Rather, consider the process of metamorphosis— the butterfly begins starts out as a squishy caterpillar, just munching on leaves until it grows big enough to spin itself into a chrysalis. While it’s dangling on a twig in mid air, the caterpillar sheds its skin, and its organs completely dissolve…what?! Yes, its organs dissolve into a primordial soup! In this phase, the caterpillar no longer recognizes itself, and resembles nothing of what it will become. Just like metamorphosis, the change process requires trust, and patience in the unknown. You are exactly where you need to be. Healing cannot be rushed, just as if you were to pull the butterfly out of the chrysalis before it was ready, it wouldn’t be able to fly. 

Take an Active Role in Your Healing

Spare yourself the saucepan!  Where is it that you need to make some proactive changes? What kind of support helps you to feel safe enough to embrace change? From embracing new ways of eating, exercise, and sleeping— to healing our relationships, psyches and deepest inner-wounds, I’m here at the Center for Holistic Medicine to help you trust in the unknown.

Contact our office to request an appointment.

About the Author

Rachel Beitler is a social worker who helps clients let go of society’s expectations to lead a more meaningful existence and become the people they are truly meant to be.

Beitler received her Master’s degree in social work from New York University in 2019, and has since been running her own private therapy practice. She uses a combination of Gestalt theory, Internal Family System therapy and self-acceptance training to help clients who are experiencing challenges related to anxiety, depression, stress, managing life transitions, relationships, disordered eating, addiction, and family of origin issues.