When change occurs of any kind, fighting and avoiding it is my number one response. Whether I pick a fight with my mom because I have to go back to college or spend hours watching Netflix attempting to avoid life, I have never ever been good at change. I mean one time I completely stopped talking to a family member because I couldn't handle the change that was occurring within our family. I went so far as to deny my relationship with God because I was BEYOND angry at Him for allowing such a horrid thing to happen to my perfect life. I may or may not be the best avoidant out there! However, it finally catches up to you.....and now I am living proof of the after math of fighting and avoiding for years and years (anxiety, panic, fear, sleep deprived, constant awareness of everything new, I could go on and on).
So what does it even mean to avoid something? Merriam-Webster defines avoid in three different ways. Number one: "to keep away from: shun." Number two: "to prevent the occurrence or effectiveness of." Number three: "to refrain from." When one chooses to avoid, they are not only attempting to keep away from something or someone but are pushing hard to keep from getting hurt and broken. Many times change brings about flaws within us or others that we do not wan to admit. Therefore, instead of embracing the new normal, we begin to protect ourselves from pain by hurting others around us and or in turn hurting ourselves. This brings us to the definition of fight. The obvious definition which is, "to contend in battle or physical combat," (Merriam-Webster). However the less thought of definition is, "to put forth a determined effort," (Merriam-Webster). What many people don't consider or realize is that when you avoid something or fighting to accept something, you make an intentional effort to not embrace the change. Therefore, one is choosing to avoid just like one could choose to embrace. Now this looks different for everyone and if you are like me, many times I shut down and don't realize it. Yet, your body has been taught to shut down and now that is your way of protection.
What does the Bible say about all this? Great question! Ecclesiastes 3 is one of my all time favorite passages of scripture. It states that there is a time for EVERYTHING! "...a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing...a time for war and a time for peace." You see there is nothing wrong with going against change if it is not of God and there is nothing wrong with fighting when it is WISELY needed. This also applies to change. Many times change, in the end, is going to benefit the receivers and we are just a stubborn people who despise change, aka discomfort. Other times one cannot change the change or make it right because it is what it is. Again in this instance, it is wiser for you to embrace not fight. Then there is change that will harm or hurt someone, or in the end not be beneficial, this change you may avoid as in "refrain from" or "put forth a determined effort" to keep it from happening. The key here is that you HAVE TO confront the change and admit that it's happening in your life in order to make a wise decision about how you are going to handle it. That choice needs to be made with wisdom and not out of fear of getting hurt or fear of pain. Once you have taken time to process the change then you may end up fighting it but 9.5 times out of 10 the wisest decision is to embrace it, pain and all.
The thing that avoiding and fighting as taught me is that you think that it doesn't affect others but it ALWAYS does. For many years, I thought it was better to avoid something than to embrace it or tell someone I was hurting. Mostly it was a pride thing but there was a part of me that believed that if I could take care of whatever it was myself that I wouldn't have to bother anyone. Especially because of so much emotion I possess, a lot of times I knew my thinking was irrational but I didn't quite know how to change it. What I now know is that instead of changing my emotions, I need to embrace them. Now I am coming to the realization that instead of fighting against change, it's okay to simply embrace my thoughts about it, tell someone I am afraid and hurting, and begin to fight against avoidance not change.
Practical steps to deal with fighting and avoiding change:
1. LET OTHERS IN! It's okay not to be okay and we need to learn to be broken with one another.
2. When you know it is your tendency to avoid, keep that at the forefront of your mind ALWAYS!
3. ALWAYS apologize for fighting with others.
4. Ask the Lord daily to bring things that you are avoiding to your mind, then take time to filter then through scripture.
5. Embrace every feeling then give them to JESUS!
6. Write the changes on a piece of paper then burn them or rip it up and through it away.
7. Go see a counselor or find a WISE mentor to talk stuff out with.
8. Listen to uplifting (worship) music and or calming classical.