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Why change is so hard

“If my devils are to leave me, I am afraid my angels will take flight as well” (Rainer Maria Rilke).

This quote highlights the complex nature of change, in which certain change experiences are deemed too threatening to the maintenance and stability of the currently held position. Even though the current position might feel intolerable, the familiarity and security in terms of certainty, may be perceived as too seductive to move from, so that we make disruptions and off-set the changes, even if this comes with great suffering and a sense of stuckness. Our openness to the experience of change reflects an openness to the unknown and uncertain. From an existential-phenomenological point of view, this shift towards change requires  a willingness to risk the stability of ones current worldview (view and relationship to self, others and the world), without the security of knowing beforehand what new worldview will emerge.

Symptoms and our current way of being always serve a function for us, even if it can take time to work out what this is. It’s only once this has been identified that change can begin to be contemplated.

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