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With every new year comes the talk about resolutions and what we want to change. In the field of mental health and psychology, we often speak about the process of change. There are a few theories of change that psychologists have created and researched. On a side note, any psychological theory is essentially putting structured language to human thought, feelings, and behaviors. So it follows that no one theory is going to be the end all be all. 

Change is vital for humans. The only thing that doesn’t change in life is change. We are continually evolving physically, spiritually, and psychologically. Often, trauma or hurt causes us to suffer, and this makes us desire to change. We want to change our trauma’s negative consequences, whether mentally, emotionally, or in our behaviors. We want to change our experience of uncomfortable emotions. So essentially, to change means to heal. But changing can be a burden; therefore, we struggle with the burden of healing.

Understanding healing as a burden comes in knowing the amount of change that we have to undergo to heal. Whether it be changing our way of thinking, changing our way of interacting with our emotions, and changing our behaviors. It is not easy, it is not fun, and it is the most challenging uphill battle any person can endure. The word ‘endure’ is most fitting because it is not something that happens overnight. Healing and changing are synonymous. Ask ourselves how easy it was to change with everything that 2020 brought this year. Probably very difficult. COVID-19 and everything that came with it shook our lives at its roots. Now ask ourselves how much of that change in itself brought on more suffering. You see, that’s the part of healing people forget to mention; how much pain on the side it brings.

The pain is twofold. First, when we see the unhealthiness stemming from our pain—if that grace is exposing ourselves to ourselves. And second, when we undertake changing, that pain. So what’s the solution?

Well, that’s the thing; there isn’t necessarily a solution. But we fight. Tom Brady’s favorite quote comes from Theodore Roosevelt, often known as “the Man in the Arena.” Roosevelt says, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

It is 2021. It’s a new year. We will fail; we will fall, but we’re going to do so in pursuit of daring to be great. Not on our own, or by our own accord or for our glory. But with God Himself and the people He has surrounded us with, and by His Holy Spirit to allow His glory to show in us “for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28, NIV).