One of my newest but closest friends had her wedding recently and the reflection it causes me to do about my own life makes me nervous. Sharing a life with someone isn't an easy task. Yes, it's about compromise- in what you do and how you do things so that both of you are happy, giving and taking in amounts that ensure neither of you are empty.
That's not what makes me nervous though, because that's actually the fun stuff- having someone to share your life with and knowing that you can make them happy. That's great. The hard bit, for me, is change. The thought of change makes me want to cry and even writing about it is causing me to freeze up a little.
Why is change so hard?
First of all, change within an impersonal context doesn't invoke the same feelings for me. The challenge of change within a work environment excites me and I run towards it.
But that's something you can leave at the door or at least switch off at some point at home- but at home, I need consistency and I need to know what I can expect. Right now I have this. I know my environment and my home is consistent- I know the things I have to do (everything!) and what to expect of my daughter. Adding a whole new human to that environment changes everything (everything!).
My fear of change is to do with expectations. It grew from experiences where my expectations weren't met and the consistency I sought wasn't found. These experiences were a bad time and I naturally relate them to any potential environment that involves sharing my life with another person- I expect bad things.
Maybe I 'shouldn't let my past define me' but realistically our past will always define us because it's why we are the way we are today. Because of this, it's difficult to not project thoughts and emotions about previous experiences and concerns onto a new partner.
If these things aren't properly dealt with I could end up running away from every good opportunity that reflects in any way a previous environment.
I know change should be welcomed when it means progress. Not all change is good. People often enter new personal and professional environments that are the entire opposite of progress, preventing or even reverting their growth emotionally, socially, financially, etc.
Progress means developing as a person in a healthy way- learning how to manage situations better and benefit from every experience Allah has given us.
Progress is acquiring new means to fulfil our duties as Muslims within our home and within society.
Progress is living better, enjoying life more and feeling more fulfilled.
It might be overwhelming at first, but good change shouldn't feel like a burden or feel like you are losing part of yourself. Some change is good, and all change is good when it means progress.
Above all though, I need to remember that anything that will change in my life is already written, it's the Qadr of Allah and it will always be what's best for me. In that sense, my expectations are misplaced and my fear is unfounded. Alhamdulillah.
Since first writing this post, I got married myself. Alhamdulillah! Let me tell you: change IS good! He is always more than I expect. My husband is my progress. He is everything I asked for in dua and I continue to pray that we can be what we need in each other's lives. Aameen.
No one is perfect, and I'm certainly no exception. There are things everyone needs to work on as individuals and as partners and families. Keep reading: How To Make Changes In Your Life for motivation and practical steps and get a free personal change plan from the Resources page.
Updated 22 Sept 2018