Fear of change is the greatest challenge I face as a military spouse and it’s often the thing that holds me back from having a great experience.
Change in the military environment used to be a recipe for disaster. You see I like routine, consistency and knowing that my actions will produce the results I am looking for. But change is one of the things that trips many of us up and we all know that as milspouses change is part of our everyday existence. Whether it’s a pcs, deployment, TDY orders, a new baby, or any situation life throws at us, change is something that we can’t ignore.
Over the last 6 1/2 years we have had LOTS of change….multiple family deaths including my father and father in law to becoming an army family after years in the civilian world. We have become pro’s at packing and moving. We’ve transitioned from the green of Michigan to the Sand of El Paso Texas then onto the mountains of Colorado Springs, CO. And now once again we gear up for even more change as we head off to a new “home” at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. And it doesn’t end there.
Since becoming a military family change has permeated every segment of our lives. In addition to the above, we have been through deployment, PTSD, empty nesting and welcoming not only a son-in-law but a grand-daughter into the family fold. We’ve Lived Thru Crisis when we almost lost our son to suicide and depression. And I won’t lie, at times the amount of change in my life has been challenging to the point of questioning whether military life is really worth the toll it takes on my family. I think it is – that is when I don’t let the fear creep in…
I think what’s gotten me through every moment is that we weren’t afraid of what our future holds. We didn’t worry about all the “what-if’s”, but rather focused on the possibilities. And it helped. We’ve learned from our mistakes (yes we made lots of them!) and we grew as individuals and as a family as we discovered coping strategies to help with the constant change military life brings. [You can learn about these strategies in my upcoming book Right Side UP available Sept 1, 2014].
When most people think of change, they are often fearful that they won’t have the energy or resources to move through a difficult situation.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. What if you changed the amount of energy you are spending on being afraid and tried something new. How would things be different if you looked at change as an adventure, or a time to learn about your situation and use it in an empowering way? For us that is exactly how we began the process of learning how to embrace our military experience. It’s was about taking the challenges and looking at them realistically through a veil of intrigue rather than doubt. We focused on finding the opportunity rather than the struggle.
You see without change life would be monotonous and boring. And that’s so far from what we are meant to be, do and have….
Change helps us find our true strength and helps us understand what we are truly capable of overcoming. Without change we would miss out on the excitement of accomplishing something we never dreamt possible. Change is merely an indication that you can expand your comfort zone and find out what you are capable of. And that’s nothing to be afraid of!
~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and lifestyle blogger as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com