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The Beast of Change | S.D. Henke

When change comes, as it always does, we sometimes stand in its way. Other times we embrace it with open arms, but no matter how we react to it, one variable never seems to budge—ready or not, here it comes! Our path in life and the simple fact that we’re human sets us on a unique trajectory of re-articulation and evolution. We can take risks and make decisions to improve our circumstances with the seeds of change or else we can also continue to de-evolve. That, to me, is also a choice.

I recently spent time researching for a writing project about the intricacies of wolf behavior and pack orientation in the formidable arctic regions. I looked at how keystone decisions are made by pack leaders and what the prime objectives were that drove change in an everchanging environment. One thing that remained the same throughout their trials to survive was their core mission. Every choice was bent on the primal instinct for what would benefit all and what was best for the pack, not the individual. This settled in my conscience with quite the inner dialogue as I debated a difficult, life-altering decision. It may or may not be what is best for the pack but it will likely serve a greater good in the end. This decision will most certainly change the fabric of my life and how I live in it. I know this. I’ve spent time processing it. I hold this knowledge while I circle my own thoughts in a holding pattern above what this change could mean for me and those in my orbit. My family, my mental health, and what it means to thrive.

This past week was a testament to my waking decision. This change came on with an iron fist in an upper-cut to my stability. A change that felt completely out of my control. Change that left me feeling lonely and frightened. With my confidence shook and a truth that’s been unraveling itself on a tether for a few years now, I feel the urge to allow it to fray loose. In this experience, what I’ve come to realize is that none of us is immune to change. We can’t hide from it or push it away. We have to stand up and face it, embrace it, and accept that regret might just be another form of denial. As I walk a new path toward an overwhelming decision, I see my situation with enlightened eyes. And although it scares the crap out me, I understand that I didn’t get the rare blessing to walk on this earth as a human for nothing. I’m not just an empty vessel awaiting change. I AM the change. As a writer, I know that every good story starts with what the character ultimately wants. Something they desire and hope for. Barriers should and will get in their way, but with that, they get to choose their own adventure. I know now that this is the same as moving through my story and it releases the burden of energy stored up while I embrace my humanity.

Whether you face a horned beast of a decision today or in days to come, my advice is to mark up, take a firm hold of each horn, and do what you were made to do. Hop on board and ride that beast into the sunset where change has the power to change you!

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