Change — It Is a Comin’
Change does not agree with the basic human condition. The truth is, most of us don’t like it; some of us hate it and will go to great lengths avoid it. We hide, we run, we try to outwait it. The paradox is that while we resist change, it is as relentless as the tides. We cannot outgrow it, go around it, or beat it into submission. We must simply face it, accept that change is the one thing that never changes in life, and learn to love it like a best friend.
Life is constructed on the principle of change, but some change happens “to” us, and some change we choose. Moment to moment we change, old cells die, new ones live on, nature moves through seasons, the planet adapts to the rhythms of weather, plants, animals, even us. The world moves, one day by foot, then by motor… cars, planes, spaceship. We communicate in words, but by different mediums over time. My grandmother would have had a hard time with tweets. Maybe one day there will be a new language of words formed in the heart, and all people will speak it throughout the land.
People move on, relationships change, we love, we lose, we grieve, and we live again. We know the joy of a puppy or a kitty that becomes a dog or a cat and a best friend, maybe our only home-mate, and we know when we agree to adopt them that we will most likely outlive them; a comedian once called that investing in a small tragedy. We know the change is coming one day, and yet when it arrives it’s still like losing a limb. But we free their souls, they move on, and one day we do too.
Jobs are gained and lost, tornados strike, sometimes there’s a pandemic. Even good change, change we crave — social justice, racial equity, reversing climate change, comes with a necessity to adapt, to create new structures with new rules. We must perform difficult tasks, make compromises, learn and practice acceptance. It’s called life.
And if we weren’t so averse to change, much of the change that happens “to” us could be voluntary instead. If we stop struggling against it, and embrace it, change can become the most wonderful thing in our lives. Like jumping headlong into a pool of cold water, we will tremble and shake and sputter and spin. But eventually, we will adapt. We will become accustomed to the change in temperature, we will swim, and at some point we will forget the water is cold.
Look change straight in the eye and say “I see you coming like a freight train, and I’m not moving!” By the time it arrives, you’ll see it’s not a freight train, just a reflection of a different you — a you that you can’t yet recognize. Cherish that you, nurture her, and honor her inevitability.
Change can be a beautiful thing. It allows us to recreate ourselves, to be someone new anytime we choose. If you don’t like the person looking back at you from the mirror every morning and every night — change her — grow, evolve, become. It’s completely up to you. There’s no democracy, no show of hands, nothing to debate — it’s your decision.
Sure, there are always repercussions to our decisions, especially in regard to changing something about ourselves, but you must know and accept that you are ultimately responsible for the choices you make, or risk becoming a victim of change, instead of its partner. The time to begin to build this partnership with change is now — whether you’re twenty, forty, sixty, or beyond. It’s a commitment to yourself, it’s all about YOU and the ways you are about to choose to live your life, from this moment forward!!
Here’s something to keep in mind, whether you are embarking on a new journey, re-committing to an old one, or just in the contemplation stage. Sometimes change takes place instantaneously, other times it occurs over a long period of time, perhaps years. And it takes many shapes. There is physical change, which we can control in some ways, and emotional change, which has more layers than an onion, most of which we cannot see coming. So many dimensions of change, as many as make up the person we are.
But we cannot wait to act just because we cannot predict all the ripples our change will cause. Unfortunately that kind of knowledge is not possible even if we waited multiple lifetimes. So the key is to BEGIN. Beginning is always the hardest, so pick the easiest place to start, somewhere, anywhere, and take a baby step. Better yet, make it a micro step, hardly perceptible by anyone but you, but you will know the difference.
Do it, make that micro-movement.
Do it NOW.