By Mark Hannan
Can you think of anything that stays the same, which does not change? The core nature of the universe is change. Everything changes. Everything. No moment is the same as another. Cellular changes occur constantly. Nothing remains constant. In many ways stability is a delusion, a way for us humans to exert and maintain control over ourselves, others, our environment and, we think, the cosmos. To what extent is that true or possible?
At first blush this fact, that change is inevitable, can be unnerving, unsettling. “What can I count on if everything is going to change?” Acknowledging change can give rise to feelings of powerlessness, fatalism, and resignation. But, yes but – we can count on one thing more than anything else – you guessed it – Change! We can participate actively in the changes happening in our lives, in our minds, and in our hearts.
By understanding the process of change, how it occurs, as it is occurring, one can engage more actively in the change, thereby impacting the outcome. There is a constant supply of energy available to us in the process of change. Using your core values as a guide to harness that energy of change is what creates progress.
Take for example a rip tide. If you are caught in a rip tide and you try to swim out of it by swimming toward the shore you will never get there. In fact, you will wind up further away from the shore and eventually be pulled under and out to sea. However, if you understand the way the sea changes, in this case how the water moves, then you will realize that if you swim in a sideways direction, you will, in a matter of minutes, be free from the pull of the current that had you trapped. The sea, the rip tide, is still swirling, and it will continue to do so. However, having participated actively in the process of insight and understanding of how the sea changes you moved from harm to safety. You changed how you were participating in that action and created an advantageous outcome.
When we touch someone, or something, it automatically changes, it is different than it was before we touched it. We leave our mark, an imprint. And, that which we have touched leaves its mark on us. We are forever changed.
Sometimes it seems like change is happening to us – we are being controlled. We all have to fill out forms, endure being put on hold and listening to elevator music, getting caught in traffic, or having to wait 45 minutes for a bus sometimes. It seems we have no control over these things. And often we don’t. How we participate in these situations is in our power. We have a choice. Sure, I can refuse to fill out the form – but then I won’t get the bank loan, the building permit or the new job. However, if I think about the benefits of having the loan, I get excited about completing the form correctly and on time. Then I’m closer to getting the funds. I could get really ticked off at the bus driver, yell at him or her, complain to all the other angered passengers. Venting can be good for you. But, if the anger just ruins their whole day, your day, what have I gained, how far forward have I moved toward my goal of wellbeing and peace of mind? By embracing change rather than fighting it we can move closer to our goals.