Like seasons, time and love... everything changes / "Understanding this"



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I thought I had it. But I lost it. Again. I walked into there blindly. Left with clearer vision. Again. I didn't reach for that. For fear of losing it. Again. Everything changes. Again. And again.

I've claimed to know that everything changes, but this past year has been all about me understanding this. I've learnt that it is not enough to just know something; for to know without understanding is to have the mathematical formula without the equation. I thought I understood that everything changes, but this past year has been all about me accepting this. To understand something and not accept it is to hold it in your mind but keep it outside of your life. And with acceptance comes belief, and with belief comes confidence, and in that confidence there is peace.

I sat and asked myself why everything changes. I couldn't figure it out. That's really a question for God/the universe/the powers that be/science or whatever else you may believe in. One thing is for sure: even if we do not know why everything changes, it is clear that everything always does.

If you asked me in June where I would be and what I would be doing in December, I would not have responded with where and what I find myself doing today. I would have told you that I would be in love, that I would be living in New York, and that I would be pursuing my journalism career as a priority. And here I sit: single, in London, and the founder of a new movement*. My December reality would have upset me in June; and yet today I can say that I am blissfully happy. Why? Because just like everything else: I am also always changing.

I think that our perception of what change is often hinders our acceptance of it. How many of us see change as 'having vs. not having'? As 'existence vs. non-existence'? I'm not sure when that happened for me, but I thought change meant, in effect, to end. Change was the death of things. And how foolish it was to think this, for this is not the nature of the world we live in. If you are 15 years into a happy marriage, it is a different marriage to the one you had 10 years ago. And relationships change largely because of the people in them; who reading this is the same person they were at 12 years old? Change is just about movement; a movement in line with nature. Seasons change, time changes, the moon changes, the tide changes, and our lives change too. So if we know that we are inherently transient beings, in line with the nature of the world that we live in, what cause do we have to fear change?

I think our fear of change is directly related to the notion of change being the death of things; and this is often tied to low expectations rooted in misperception. Sometimes we believe that what we have, especially if it is good, is the most/best/greatest thing we will ever have. Out of this belief comes a battle, a battle against the natural order. For if we are changing everyday (even in spite of ourselves) and then we are holding onto things that fit the people we once were, we are doing the spiritual equivalent of wearing clothes that are four sizes too small. You've grown, but your life is tight around the chest, tight around the arms and tight around the legs. Now it's hard to breathe, hard to reach for things and hard to travel. Our only concern should be that everything fits. Is my life 'better' than it was when I had someone to love me? Who knows? But my life today fits the person I am today, and this is why I am happy.

The other reason I think we fear change is that we are afraid of failing. In my eyes, the concept of failure is the biggest obstacle to understanding and accepting change. Failure implies that 'end' that I mentioned, of which in reality there is none. Think about what you consider to be your biggest failure. What did you do next? Whatever you did, I know there was a next, because there is always a next. Even 'failure' is just a part of change. Failure has had me in tears so many times, but if you use it correctly, it becomes the beginning of the next movement in your life.

Knowing that everything is transient leaves you with two choices. You can either not become attached to anything in anticipation of your loss of said thing, or you can fully engage with what you have at any given moment in time. Would I sound like a broken record if I said that to do the former is to go against the nature of things? There is no need to worry, no need to fear, no need to push; because change happens without us making it so. And if we're not worrying, and we're not watching, and we're not bracing ourselves for failure; what are we doing? We're enjoying life. We're moving with, and not against, the natural dynamism that pulses through this planet. Love hard. Be bold. Fear nothing. Try everything. Reach for the thing you want the most. Ride those changes to the next stop. Hop off. Then hop back on for your next destination.

My present is beautiful. I think about my future now and I can't help but smile. I'm excited about all the things I want, all the things I don't yet know that I want, and all the things I want but won't get. The unknown now fuels as opposed to extinguishes my fire, and I'm excited about the changes ahead. When you think about it: change is actually the antipode of death. It is the only permanent thing that we have. Rejoice in this.

(Originally posted 7/13/2009)

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