Zap! Not biting bugs but minutes then hours evaporating. To where? What happened to Spring? And Summer? A glance at blank yet expired calendar pages leaves me ravenous. It’s as though I’m stuck in February before covid-19 hijacked 2020 into becoming the “Year that Wasn’t.”
“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
∼The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Losing 16 loved ones over the last 18 months, I understand that sentiment. Deeply. My heavy heart wasn’t prepared for a continued incogitable rampant purging when I optimistically welcomed 2020. I thought I already experienced enough loss to last a lifetime or at least the next several years.
“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change” wrote Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley in “Frankenstein.” I’ve lived that sentiment most of my life as it’s been my usual reaction to change. And now, as America falters under polarity and anarchy, I try to steady myself in this devastating earthquake that is crumbling much of the world I’ve known.
Clinging to the Past Brings Unhappiness
Dr. Elaine Aron, a respected researcher and author of six books on highly sensitive persons (HSP) advises: “…Everything around us is impermanent and so are we. If you cling to now, or to the pre-covid past, you are going to be unhappy….Clinging to your best moods, happy self, or wise ego will not work. No matter how much you try to train yourself, you will not be at your best every day.
“That does not mean you should not do all you can to stay peaceful—meditate, spend time with nature, avoid over-stimulation, stay rested, get the social contact and support you need, but above all, remember that no feeling lasts forever. So be patient and kind to yourself when you can’t regulate your feelings…Buddha, Christ, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and many others said that the solution to the changing nature of everything is to open to the unchanging…(usually spiritual in nature).”
Changing the Response to Change
I integrate Dr. Aron’s approach but there are still times I feel breathlessly outrun by 2020’s rapid fire. The only healthy response is to continue working on changing my response to change. “This too shall pass,” “it’s always dark before the dawn,” “the gift is as great as the pain,” are steam engines that pulled me through challenging times before. Now I’m also focusing on Lao Tzu‘s insights from the Tao Te Ching for handling change:
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
Pondering snippets from varied sources also helps ease the bizarre energy of these seemingly endless days where capriciousness and stagnation occur concurrently:
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”∼
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” ∼ Buddha
“Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.” ∼ Ecclesiastes 3:1 in the Good News Translation Bible
On the brighter side, perhaps I won’t feel a year older when, or should I say if, 2021 shows up…
Other photos credits while still working out bugs in the new Gutenberg editor:
– Featured photo by Alex Powell from Pexels
– Plain cardboard box by Brandable Box on Unsplash
– Cardboard person by Markus Spiske on Unsplash