Updated: May 17, 2022
I am not going to be polite about this: change is fucking hard.
Change is what is up, it’s constant and it’s inevitable. These days the only thing you can count on is it’s all gonna change.
I have an uneasy relationship with change because I love/hate it. I want things to change but I absolutely don’t want things to change.
See the problem here? It’s insane to think I can have it both ways. I believe we all want to change, well maybe not all of us, but a lot of us. I want to change for the best and experience my life as changed for the best. I have a lot of conditions where change is concerned. I want them to be “good” changes, not “bad” changes. And definitely, I don’t want uncomfortable ones. Do I really think I can have it only one way? Just the good and none of the bad? Nope. Change is having none of that and it isn’t interested in negotiating with me. It plows through my life indifferently rearranging who and what I am. I fight it even as I embrace it.
Have you ever been in the ocean in big waves? I have and it can be terrifying. I feel the pull of the undertow dragging me out to sea while giant waves crash over my head pushing me under with an astonishing force. Because I didn’t see this wave coming I got caught without enough air in my lungs and now I’m forced under the water and getting churned around like a rag doll. I can’t tell which way is up. When I finally crack the surface an even bigger wave crashes onto me dragging me right back under. Now I panic. Waves come in sets and it happens again and again. I begin to run out of breath. Now I start to fight the ocean. Bad idea I am no match for the ocean. The only possibility I have for survival is to stop fighting, let go and let the waves whip me around for a while. As my panic slowly wanes I catch my breath and start to flow with the water, not against it. Wave by wave I make my way back to the shore where I flop panting onto the sand consumed with relief and gratitude.
When change overwhelms me I think of the ocean and I let go. I breathe and surrender to the force that’s tossing me around. Change is like the ocean. I can’t fight it, I can’t tell it what to do and I sure as hell can’t tell it how to show up in my life. I can’t fight the waves. If I do, I’ll drown, so now what? How do I make my peace with the inevitability of constant change? It’s a daily practice. Moment by moment I remind myself to let go and flow with what is happening right now. Like it or not, I can only survive this if I just let go, catch my breath, and don’t fight what is happening. Oxygen is like a cocktail for my brain.
Oxygen is like a cocktail for my brain, it steadies me and gives me the courage to let go.
The next thing I do is the tricky (but magical part): I blindly trust that it will all be okay. While I have no guarantee this is true, that my life won’t suddenly be smashed to bits, I’ve lived long enough to have a lifetime's worth of evidence that this is true. I used to believe that life should come with guarantees of absolute safety and surety. That a good life was filled with only good things, not bad. I no longer believe that. I believe a good life is filled with all different kinds of things and all kinds of experiences, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the sublime. It’s a veritable stew that filled everything and the kitchen sink is thrown in for good measure. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s whatever I decide to call it or however I decide to see it. Life is a fire walk. And I’m not going to fight it. Change is hard. But this Goddess is on a mission. One of my favorite quotes is “life works out the best for the people who make the best of how life works out”.
I’m going to let go and make the best of how life works out.