I recently heard these words spoken by a spiritual teacher named Jac O’Keeffe.
I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed in recent months about the process of change. While change can be very exciting it is also very scary because of the unknown once the change takes place.
However, when these words came to me, it really struck a chord. Think about it…we really are constantly in a state of change. It happens in every moment of every day. The most obvious yet most subtle change we experience each day is the process of aging. Every second, the cells and molecules in our body are changing.
Every day, our moods change. HELLO!….I have a teenage daughter whose mood can change in a nanosecond! We go through periods of happiness, sadness, anger, resentment, jealousy, contentment…the list goes on and on. Even though we might experience the same kind of mood on a regular basis, there are nuances that are different and change our mood each and every time.
Our friendships and acquaintances always seem to be evolving and changing. Yes, we might have some lifelong friendships, but even those change as our own circumstances and life’s journey change and evolves. When my best friend and I were in junior high school together, our friendship wasn’t the same as it is today…it has changed.
Relationships with family members change as we mature and grow and move into different phases of the life cycle. I need my family in a different way now that I am older than when I was a kid growing up in the same house as my parents and sister.
Our communities change all the time as well. Go back to the neighborhood where you grew up and see if it’s exactly the same as you remember it? Maybe some of the houses have been torn down and rebuilt or renovated. Maybe some of the old neighbors you remember have either moved on or passed away. Maybe that little sapling that you planted in your back yard is now fully grown and blooming flowers. Maybe the old swings at the park you used to play at as a child have been replaced or removed altogether (who knows these days, right?).
Globally, we are in a constant state of change. Old crusty politicians who wreaked havoc on innocent people are being overthrown and replaced with modern democracies. Historically hostile parts of the world are being soothed with the concept of freedom. The changes are pretty spectacular and significant.
Our planet’s environment is changing (I think for the worse). The planet is warming, our weather is becoming more severe (witness our radical winters of either extreme cold and snow or extreme mildness). Has anyone stepped outside recently? Does anyone remember in recent years, the severity of the heat we have experienced over the past few weeks?
Change is everywhere and is constant. It is stable in that it is always there. It is because its so constant that we hardly take note of it.
So, why do we freak out when we experience a change in our own lives? I am on the cusp of a professional change. I have no idea of what that change will be and when it will happen. I just know that a change is coming. In my case, the only part that upsets me is waiting for it to happen. Not knowing what’s on the other side of the change can be scary but also exhilarating.
No need to “have a cow”. Aging is a very slow change that happens every day. Do I freak out over it? Not really. Maybe because its subtle and maybe because I have accepted that aging is a change that I have no control over…that I have surrendered to it.
Maybe surrendering to change is the best way to cope with it. If we believe and accept that everything in our lives is changing and is in constant motion, then we should be able to manage those bigger changes that come along once in a while that are more “radical” (the loss of a job, the change of address, sickness of someone close to you, kids moving out of the house, the end of a marriage). In a lot of ways, dealing with some of these bigger changes is very similar to managing the aging process; all of them are gradual..they build and build…until they reach a point where action is taken and a new path is required.
The great thing about change is that through it all, life goes on. Every morning, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The air flows, the pace of life continues. Life is stable…and so is change.