In an isolated society known as The Community, a culture of "sameness" is embraced. Pain and suffering have been eradicated from daily life, along with any notion of individuality or choice. Members of the Community lead a seemingly perfect existence, unburdened by the harsh realities of the "real" world. A lone man among them has been designated to retain all memories of the way life once was. Now the time has come for that man to pass his knowledge to another.
Life is exactly as the old saying, "The only constant in life is change." No matter who we are - our age, our marital status, our career - sooner or later, we will face a life-changing event. Some of these changes are heartbreaking and gut-wrenching. Others are overwhelming and make you step out of your comfort zone. You may move across the country, change professions, lose a family member to a terrible accident or you or someone you love is diagnosed with a fatal disease, you never know when change is going to make a grand entrance in your life.
In the recently released movie, "The Giver," Jonas, a young man, grows up in a world in which all bad things had been eliminated: fear, hatred, pain, hunger, disease, war, violence. When he reaches adulthood, he learns a dark secret. The "perfect" world was a lie. Everything he knew, everything he grew up believing had been fabricated. Jonas had to find a way to cope with the life-changing event and make sense of his new life.
However, no matter how change happens, you must be prepared. If you are not always prepared mentally and physically for a large change, it will catch you by surprise, and it will be much more difficult to overcome. Here are a few ways you can prepare yourself for the changes that lie ahead in your life.
Take it one step at a time
Big changes can be overwhelming. In many situations, the change brings with it a mile long to-do list. Don't look at the change as a whole. Instead, put the tasks into small steps and take things one step at a time. Break your to-do list up and assign several tasks to certain days. Make the tasks more manageable and you will accomplish more and you won't be get bogged down.
Give yourself time
Some news can immediately change your outlook on life. Your husband lost his job. How will you pay for the bills this month? Your child was diagnosed with cancer. Do you move so she is closer to her treatments? Big change often brings a multitude of decisions. However, before you jump to any conclusions and begin making any decisions, give yourself some time. Let your mind and body become familiar with the situation at hand and accept the news before you make any rash decisions that could make the current situation an even larger mess.
In "The Giver," the character named The Giver has some difficult decisions to make. He went through exactly the same situation as Jonas, only years earlier. Does he continue living in the world he once knew or break away and do something different? The more he learns, the more he realizes something must be done. But he thinks things through. He weighs the needs of the community against his personal needs.
Exercise and eating a healthy diet are vital for keeping up with the demands of daily life. When you feel heartbroken and discouraged, you can easily become weak, sick or depressed. Many changes in life may even require physical labor such as moving or undergoing a health treatment. When you keep your body healthy, you will have an easier time plowing through those unwanted and difficult changes.
Write about it
Sharing your story and your emotions is one of the best and easiest ways to handle a life-changing event. This is one way to preserve memories, to always remember the pain and pleasure you feel throughout the changes in your life. You don't have to spend hours writing about an experience. Find time each day to write a little bit, after some time you will see that those tidbits of information turn into a glorious story.
One large theme in "The Giver" is the importance of memories. Without memories, we can't learn from mistakes. We can't learn to appreciate pain or happiness. Memories easily fade away with age or begin to change, the only true way to preserve a memory is to write it down.
Adopt an attitude of gratitude
As in all things in life, you can always be grateful for something. Even when you are experiencing the most difficult challenge in your life and the world is changing around you, you can be grateful for something. Before you go to sleep each night, make a list of at least three things you are grateful for that occurred during the day. When you begin to really look back at your life, you will see many tender mercies that occurred and experiences that make you truly grateful for what you have.
You can't hide from change. It will come, whether you like it or not. When that change comes, you must find a way to accept it and press forward. You can always find a way.
Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.