Don’t jump—step into change

The first thing that usually stems to mind when I imagine the importance of change in a person’s life is the commonly held myth that if we resist change, we maintain our security. In truth, everything is in continual flux, and the only constant we can rely on is change.

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Always the optimist, I tend to think about change in terms of increasing our happiness—pursuing the career that fulfills you, moving to the city or town that makes your heart sing or brings peace to your soul, or going back to school to feed your mind and perhaps follow a path you wish you had previously. But one morning last month, as I took my daily walk across a Bridge in north Toronto, I was met with police, an ambulance and a car of people who were calling for help. One of the officers asked me if I had seen anything and after I replied that I hadn’t, she asked me if I could kindly walk on the other side of the road, or respectfully not to look down into the valley.

Someone had jumped.

I felt as if I could feel the blood draining out of my heart until it felt sunken and empty. We are all deeply connected. The thought that someone found themselves so alone or without hope that they needed to jump off a bridge to end their life connects me to that void I think we all feel sometimes.

What’s behind the suicides it feels like we’re hearing about more and more often? Loneliness? Isolation? A lack of human connection? Sometimes it’s the people with the seemingly fullest lives that we find out were the most alone after they make the choice to jump.

So today as I reflect on this month’s theme at cslto of ‘Say yes to change’, I realize change can be much less dramatic than packing up and moving. Change can mean the courage to reach out to another person for support.

Change doesn’t always lead to less security—in fact, allowing yourself the freedom in life to change in ways that feed you can mean more security for your spirit. And connecting with other people can help us all find the safe space we need.

What will be your change this month?

Try this: Write a reflection starting with ‘The change I need now is…’