…and will change. At some point.
This summer of exhaustive change whirled like a tornado snatching dear ones from my path. In three months I’ve experienced rapid and complete loss from news of 14 deaths — nine of them close to me. Barely catching my breath, we’ve also just lost the healing space where we’ve hand drummed for over 15 years.
I admit, change often feels like a blustery, cold wind in my life rather than a soothing, summer breeze. Raised in a dysfunctional home, I became an ACOA and HSP — frazzled by chaos and discord, and craving stability and harmony.
If I continually resist change, though, the Universe sweeps in, eliminating any more chances or choices to get on board. Suddenly, (at least it feels that way, even if I’ve dilly-dallied for ages) I’m hurled with hurricane force into new situations — whether desired or not, whether I like it or not, and whether I feel courageous or not. So, instead of latching on tightly and refusing to let go, I’m more inclined now to accept and release. Note: it’s not always immediate and it doesn’t mean I always like it.
Change is welcomed when we are the ones initiating it.
But, when it’s thrown upon us, our response is often quite different.
The calendar indicates when I can reasonably expect to see leaves falling, snow flying, buds blooming. Even if it isn’t exactly on schedule, I feel comfortable knowing that the next season is around the corner, hence, what to expect next. It’s the unanticipated adversity — like tornadoes, Nor’easters (and precipitous deaths) that jolt me.
Still, I’m learning like everyone else on this journey called life. My headstrong adolescence pressed through storms, and my unguided young adulthood blindly maneuvered rocky, melodramatic situations. In mid-adulthood, the fog began lifting, offering clearer, smoother sailing — but only through a widened perspective and attitude of enhanced acceptance.
My Five Stages of Acceptance
By that I mean growing out of questioning, “Why me, or us or this?” to lamenting disappointment, to bemoaning perplexity, to the sighing resignation of “It is what it is,” to realizing the changing nature of the seasons is the flow of life. Change is the perfectly natural progression. For it to be anything otherwise equals stagnation and death.
As my perspective changes, so does my life.
So now, when immense change occurs, I endeavor to exchange fear or disappointment with faith and acceptance that everything is working out exactly as it’s meant to be. While intellectually understanding death as transformation eases the loss, it doesn’t completely erase my feelings. For other changes, I remind myself that space is being created for something better…and that the gift may not always appear how I envision it — another reason for due diligence in living consciously and welcoming doors of opportunity.
Each of us processes life and change differently, and at different times in our life.
While still feeling an emptiness from losing Bess and other friends this summer, my heart slowly mends by shifting focus from loss to fulfillment. Having more leeway to be away from home now I’ve planned two bucket list journeys for 2020 — Turks & Caicos and Cotswolds, England.
A close friend processed her loss quite differently when her dog suddenly died this summer. (He was panting at 7PM and dead by 10PM.) Feeling so distraught, she brought home brother and sister puppies a week later. While they are adorable, she forgot how much work they are and is now so tied to home, she cannot leave even for day trips. Change comes in all sizes, just like pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters…
How do you process change? Has it been the same throughout your life, or evolved one way or the other? Do you welcome change or close your eyes and shut the door on it, only to have it forced open later?
6 Replies to “Constancy is Unnatural…”
I never would have guessed you were an ER RN. Your posts seems so mellow. But, then again, I suppose if you can handle working in a high adrenaline position you would have to remain calm and adaptable by the second.
It’s taken decades but I truly think gardening and the Tao have been my greatest teachers in understanding the cyclical nature of change, and therefore, more willing to accept it. But, those unforeseen ones, well, I’m still working on it. Making progress, but still working on it. 🙂
i dont feel i thought about it much. as an rn, i worked in the emergency department and that is all about change. lol i guess i must have realized sometime in my life, change was normal. day becomes night and back to day. water becomes ice, or steam and back to water. the young become old. light becomes a photo. we may be able to delay change. but in the end, it will still happen.
What great questions you ask. It sounds almost like the chicken and egg scenario. It’s taken me decades to realize I cannot stop change and now that I understand it better, I realize no change only means stagnation. Have you always processed change so well or has your handling it evolved through your life too?
life is all about change.
does life alter your perspective or does perspective alter your life?
sometimes change is large and sometimes it is small. but it is part of our life. we cant stop it. sometimes we may not or maybe refuse to recognize change. somethings we keep around us that we feel comfortable with. maybe we always wear jeans and t-shirts. or we decorate our home a certain way. we do these things as a buffer to the change in life.
LikeLiked by 1 person