Many of us have difficulty with change because we fear the unknown. We don’t want to leave our comfort zones or are afraid of how others will react when we deviate from the norm. But do you know who has experienced major changes in his life and is actually not afraid of major transformations? Our dear Pope Francis!
Be inspired by his example and find the courage to shake things up with these three life lessons.
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Lesson #1: Traditions don’t have to remain the same—you can make new ones!
While traditions help to preserve customs and communities, sometimes you have to adopt new ones that embrace your shifting situations, as well as own principles and ideals. Take Pope Francis for instance: During the Holy Thursday rite of washing the feet, the Holy Pontiff did not limit the ritual to 12 Catholic men the way it had always been conducted in the past. He surprised the world by washing the feet of women and Muslims at a juvenile detention facility in Rome. He also chooses to live modestly in an apartment in Casa Santa Marta instead of the lavish residence given to popes at the Apostolic Palace. All these were quite a departure from the way things were done for generations, but many have recognized these shifts as the change the world needs today.
Lesson #2: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Sometimes we need other people to help us adapt to big changes. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. When Pope Francis was announced as the new leader of the Catholic Church, he did not begin with the traditional long speech but with a moment of silence. He then asked the Vatican crowd to pray for him—a request he is now famous for in the Catholic community. Pope Francis recognizes that he is not perfect and constantly asks for our help in guiding him as he steers the Church to the rightful path.
Lesson #3: Clean up your household and make room for positive change.
Cleaning up our homes always leads to positive results—and thoughts! For example: Decluttering your bedroom results in more breathing room (both literally and figuratively!), as well as calmer atmosphere where you can get a more restful sleep. But you don’t need to stop at clearing out your physical space. Take a cue from Pope Francis who has gone to great lengths to cultivate “a free Church that is open to the challenges of the present, [that is] never on the defensive for fear of losing something.” He went so far as to replace long-time members of the Church hierarchy for more relevant decision-making and sound debates—especially on moral and social issues.
Think about it: If a nearly 2,000-year-old institution can begin to transform, then you can, too!
Feeling excited yet daunted? Start small by making changes in yourself. At the same time, when other people make changes, be as open and supportive as you wish others would be with you. Who knows? Maybe the new way may very well be for everyone’s good.