Everything I’ve Ever Learned About Change Introduction Change is inevitable.
Nothing stays still. Life is in constant motion from the molecular to the planetary level and we are changing right along with it.
The universe moves in a perpetual surging dance, and happiness is the elation that comes from feeling in harmony with that cosmic rhythm.
So why is change the source of so much fear and unhappiness? Why do people resist it so deeply and struggle against it so desperately?
Why, if change is the norm, do we all recognize the profound longing for eternal sameness?
‘Change and decay in all around I see,’ sing the mourners at a funeral. ‘O thou that changeth not, abide with me.’
We long for sameness. But if we could arrest change and enter a world of eternal stasis we would go mad.
We would stagnate and die, because change is life. Constant adaptation creates the momentum and energy that keep us going.
Our relationship with and understanding of the forces of change within us and around us, both personal and political, are crucial to our wellbeing.
Without some surrender to change and understanding of its role in our life, we suffer. Life gives us endless chances to learn about change.
One minute life is stuck, the next minute it is out of control and moving at headlong speed. When life is stuck, we long to make changes.
When life is out of control, we long for things to stay the same.
If we can stay aware, we will notice that there are two kinds of changes: those that happen to us and those that we make happen.
It is very important to understand the difference. The more of the second kind there are in your life, the happier you will be,
so this book celebrates the exhilaration of change. However, the art of dealing with change when it happens to you is also essential to happiness.
A human life is a never-ending lesson in adjusting to change: biological, hormonal, familial, changes of home or relationship,
changes of mind and heart, changes of fortune and circumstance, changes of government and climate. A single life can encompass peaceful democracy and war, a perfect sunny day or a hurricane, the slow morphing of evolution or the cataclysm of a tsunami.
Change can flatten you or teach you to be adaptable, resourceful and even triumphant.
So, faced with the inevitable changes of life, what can we do? We can do a lot.
We can understand the forces that affect us and be better prepared. We can learn to read the writing on the wall in relationships,
in workplaces and in nations. We can learn the arts of adaptation, self-preservation and creative living. We can learn how to nourish ourselves
and anchor ourselves in those aspects of life that change more slowly than we do and give us glimpses of the eternal. And we can learn how to empower ourselves by becoming an agent of change. Change isn’t something we have to suffer. It can be something we work to bring about.