Change is constant. How we experience change…that’s up to us.
While a few crave change, most of us avoid it like the plague. Change knocks us off centre, makes us wobbly and uncomfortable. But when life gets tough, change offers us the hope that things will get better. Three years ago I said goodbye to my daughter, Rachel. Without faith in the power of change I’d have remained emotionally paralyzed.
Life is full of endings, full of goodbyes; change. Even as we finish the last piece of a chocolate bar we’re reminded that nothing lasts forever. Poet David Whyte suggests 50% of life is saying goodbye; until we absorb that reality we’re easy prey for depression and anxiety. Besides, one day we’ll have to give it all away. Everything. Maybe if we practice we’ll be better prepared for that Big Goodbye.
We just have to open our fingers, loosen our grip.
As Tim Kreider reminds us in this week’s New York Times: “You are older at this moment than you’ve ever been before, and it’s the youngest you’re ever going to get. The mortality rate is holding at a scandalous 100 percent.”
We all have a date of birth, and a date of death at yet unknown. Until that day maybe it’s worth shaking things up, practice feeling wobbly: sit somewhere different, give a gift anonymously, do something others might describe as ‘not like you.’ Call it prep work. Detachment from attachment.
Changing my living situation every few weeks keeps me wobbly. Trusting that everything happens at the right time inspires a calm resolve and intuitive faith in life as it is…traits absent from an earlier life that left me ill prepared for massive change.
“How we remember our lives trumps how we experience them,” claims neurosurgeon and cancer-survivor Allan Hamilton. Today I shall reframe my thoughts about Rachel’s departure from this world. Rather than think of it as the date of her death, I shall celebrate memories of the 8533 days she lived.
“Cos’ I gotta feelin’…”
-The Black Eyed Peas-
Grey’s Anatomy, Season 7, Episode 1
You Are Going to Die by Tim Kreider
7 Ways to Make Happiness Last by Allan Hamilton
David Whyte workshops