In life we all have things we resist. If you are like me you can keep up this resistance thing for months, causing yourself no end of lurking doubts and fears. However, the minute I accept something, something I cannot change, all those lurkers turn to dust and that’s when I know I made them all up.
When any of us need to move into a new place inside our life and we know it has to be however much we don’t want it to, resistance is futile. We know this, but it doesn’t stop us turning away again and again. This is not for me, we say, I can change this pumpkin into a coach if I just keep going, keep moving, keep running. The exhaustion that follows crumples us into a gloomy heap of laundry and we feel defeated and upset.
Then, one day we wake up to what we have been madly trying to avoid. This situation is not going away. Resignedly we turn to face it and there is stands, as strong and as sturdily built as it was the first time it walked right up to us and stood in our path. Hallo, we say, begrudgingly. What do you want of me? Shaking and scared we stand there like a child on day one of Big School, our hearts a flutter, our feet glued to the ground. But, we have turned and that is all we need to do because at that very second, Life sends angels to guide us on.
In the face of this acceptance, a lot of the angst falls away. We might not like it, this inevitable situation, nor think we need it anywhere near us, but the truth is we do. What life sends our way is quite specifically ours and there’s a reason for it. Although that platitude irritates the bejabers out of me, I can think of no other way to put it. It isn’t that I am required to fix the situation, but that there is something in me that needs to adapt in order to bring a solution, and, in my acceptance and willingness to change,(even if I don’t yet know what into) the situation itself changes.
Well that sounds like pants to me, we protest. I was fine as I was, getting on with life, managing most of it effectively and with energy and enthusiasm, most of the time. Aha, says Life, well that’s true, but now I need you to change. It’s outrageous, I know, but this is what happens for we were never meant to stand still. Standing still means you miss the bus every time. Standing still might mean you get a great view but that view will never change. We pretend we are happy with that, the same old landscape day after day, incorporating our well-planned routines, our habits, our safety and security. I always do it this way, this routiney thing. This is why we stamp and rage about roadworks because they mean we have to go a different route to work and that is extremely irritating. It is why we always expect a call from a foreign child on Sundays and are upset when they miss; why we expect others to be as they always were before; why hormonal teenagers infuriate and upset us. If we are honest, we all fall for these unwelcome differences, and the reason is our own deep need for everything to remain as it was.
It is no way to live, not really for it shows us nothing new and worse, never shows us what we are capable of. We are dancers, with an innate curiosity for life, however old and infirm we might be. So why do we feed this illusion that our way is a good one when we are probably already bored to death with it. We are designed as pilgrims, as travellers and journeymen, versatile and interesting and always open to new adventures?
I am so thankful I met a man who couldn’t stand still for a minute. Although I raged against each change, he has taught me a lesson of such value that it now runs through my veins like life blood. It doesn’t mean that I automatically embrace change if it ‘promises’ discomfort and loss, but what it does mean is that the resistance phase is shorter each time. I know I cannot change this situation, but there are about a thousand ways I can change myself.
It smiles me, the thought. And, by the way, we can learn a great deal from hormonal teenagers. They aren’t scared to change.