Changes are exciting when they are along expected or desirable lines. But they don’t always do. Life doesn’t follow our own well written script where everything happens at the “right” time, where nothing goes wrong and we live happily ever after.

Changes always call for some readjustments. What is most difficult is that they come with endings. An illness is the end of good health. A bereavement is the end of a relationship. The break up of the relationship with someone you were married to for several years has ended. It may have been a torture to live with the person, but now you may be lonely without them. An economic downturn is the end of an era of prosperity and may lead to loss of job and financial security. If you have begun to notice signs of aging such as wrinkles, gray hair, no hair, slowness of pace, poor learning or retention, loss of memory or faculties, change has come home to you. It is no longer an external event. Depending on your culture and traditions, age and the loss of youthfulness could cast some doubts on your social acceptability and the respect of others.

Consider the sure ground of beliefs that once sustained you through life’s ups and downs. What if they are called into question and you are no longer sure as you used to be?

Changes inevitably bring crises and challenges. When something ends, we grieve. If we have the resources to deal with the changes that confront us, we can make a breakthrough. If our perceived ability to handle life’s changes is low, we end up suffering greatly.

Much depends on the attitudes with which we face the changes that occur in life. We have little choice over what happens. But we do have some choice in the attitude we take towards what happens. That usually makes the difference between a breakdown and a breakthrough, between happiness and misery, and between inner strength and defeatism.

The greatest gift of Awareness in times of change is the passage through life’s changes with freedom and equanimity.