This article was inspired by the arrival of September – which is spring here in Australia. What inspires me most about this special time is how easily nature adapts to the changing seasonal cycles of life/death, and now with the emergence of new life in spring I am amazed at how the embrace of change in the natural world is so harmonious – there is no avoidance or resistance, it simply is.
In our modern life we tend to avoid these natural laws and favour man-made laws which seem to push us to avoid or resist change in ourselves (such as natural bodily changes we experience as we age), and in others (“wow, you really have changed since…”). Change is seen as an alien, frightening experience. “Why do things have to change, why can’t they remain the same?” we may find ourselves pondering from time to time. The answer? Change happens – and nothing we can do will stop it from happening. Or, to quote a hippie friend of mine, “you can’t push against a river.”
For many years I exhausted myself trying to push against the river. I was not going to change without a fight – and yet the river pushed back and took me with it! Like many people, it was the fear of change which had me pushing against the river. My fear was based on the “not knowing”. As someone that enjoys some level of control over my life, the thought that I had no control over some areas of my life terrified me. I found myself thinking “what will happen to me if this happens?” and “will I be okay if that happens?” But as I have grown older and (I hope!) wiser, I realise that despite the initial fear I had to impending change in my life, I have always come through that change all the better for it.
I admit, not all change starts out as a positive experience. I know that many of my readers will have experienced change that has caused them, during the early unfolding of this process, pain and heartache. Such as when we lose a parent, when a marriage or union dissolves, when we move unexpectedly, when we are diagnosed with an illness… these changes slap us into reality, and we are forced to confront unseen natural laws which either guide us through life, or drag us kicking and screaming to the inevitable.
However, from my experience, even if change started out painful, I grew from it in ways I would never have if I had not experienced this change in the first place. For me, I felt I had growth or developed into a better person as a result of the experience. I felt, almost intuitively, that I had grown-up a little. It is difficult to put into words the experience of change, but I am sure many of you understand what I am trying to convey.
So, in celebration of spring and new beginnings, let us explore the Power of Change by reflecting some tiny pearls of truth about Change – and how its best to flow with the river, instead of trying to push it back.
• Change gives you permission to let go. When we accept change we allow ourselves to let go of unrealistic expectations we have placed on ourselves due to societal and peer pressure.
• Change gives us that little spark of motivation. When we experience any change there is often a sudden surge of energy. This energy may be a primal response i.e. fear, but it is still energy and we can use it to pursue dreams and goals.
• Change brings a new perspective. When we change we begin to see the world in a different, fresh way. This helps us to acknowledge life is not stagnant, and beliefs we may have had a year ago now appear to have no place in our new life.
• Change liberates us from the influence of the past. Change propels us forward, and in doing so we often lose our grip on the past and become a different person to the person we were a year ago.
• Change helps us cut psychic binds to others. When we change we will find some people move away from us, and new people move into our lives. This can be a positive or negative experience, depending on how strong our psychic binds are to others.
• Change allows us to accept life is forever unfolding. This is perhaps the greatest gift change gives us. It demonstrates that we do not have to remain the same, that we can be different – unique, authentic, real. Change means the masks we wore today do not have to be worn tomorrow, and that we are forever free to explore and express ourselves each day in new, exciting ways.
I hope that the changes which spring inevitably brings into our lives will help shape us in positive ways, and that in the experience of these changes we learn more about who we are and our place in the world… and in this learning we promote in ourselves a sense of empathy, love and acceptance – of ourselves and others – as we flow with the river towards our end destination… wherever and whenever that may be.