“When we say things like “People don’t change,” it drives scientists crazy. Because change is literally the only constant in all of science. Energy, matter, it’s always changing . . . Morphing, merging, growing, dying, it’s the way people try not to change that’s unnatural. The way we cling to what things were instead of letting them be what they are. The way we cling to old memories instead of forming new ones. The way we insist on believing, despite every scientific indication, that anything in this lifetime is permanent. Change is constant. How we experience change, that’s up to us. It can feel like death, or it can feel like a second chance at life. If we open our fingers, loosen our grips, go with it, it can feel like pure adrenaline. Like at any moment, we can have another chance at life. Like at any moment, we can be born all over again.” Grey’s Anatomy
“Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes. Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.” Henry Miller
“Change is inevitable. Your personal and spiritual evolution will always be seen as a betrayal by those whose values you abandon. You have a right to change your values, beliefs and ideas. The discomfort you feel when you attempt to change is just the social control that surrounds you becoming more obvious and bearing down on you. There is nothing more spiritual than freedom and it is very spiritual to violate old beliefs for new values.” Unknown
“You have changed!”
People say that to me with an accusatory tone. I am not sure how they expect me to respond.
If I have not changed in a year, in 10 years, I would be sadly disappointed in myself. I work hard on making sure I have changed. I spend time with myself. I put effort into learning. I ask questions. I research. I listen. I pay attention. The call is always to deepen my understanding, to push beyond the comfortable, to not be satisfied with status quo.
I find out over and over again that my understanding was limited, superficial, and even completely wrong. That inspires me to dig. I cannot continue to say and do the things I used to say and do when I know that they no longer serve me because I have found so much more. It will mean that I may not be on the same page with people that I once was.
Of course I have changed. Continue reading
For many years there was a sadness to the wandering . . . a sense of isolation, a loneliness that was hard to explain to anyone. How could we be standing on a hill overlooking the most awe inspiring world we live in and feel sad? How could we be with people we loved and admired and feel lonely? And yet I did.
The world was supposed to end this week. Once again people predicted horrible events and a big change. People got rich off of other people’s fears. Some people stopped breathing, waiting for it to happen.
It didn’t end.
But this week I found myself standing among the people in my life, overlooking the beauty of the world and I felt chains of bondage slipping off. I found myself letting go of emotional tangles and wishes for things that were not in my control. My sadness and sense of loss lessened. . . and a quiet, directed resolve taking it’s place.
It was like the world sighed.
I opened my eyes.
I see lights of connection. I feel their strength. I sense the hope. I taste freedom.
Love is all that is left.
I am at peace.
When I was a child I remember the first world issue I really took to heart which was the starving children in Bangladesh. I remember crying myself to sleep and writing poetry because the idea that children were starving to death instead of running and playing like I was – was so hard and unfair.
It was a concept, not a reality for me. I looked at pictures, separated with a glossy coolness between the reality and my world that allowed me a disconnect despite the tears. They were “over there” and I was safely “here.”
As I have grown, I have come to understand there are many countries where the mortality rate among children is high, due to violence and poverty. I have grown to understand that there are countries where many young people are killed due to violence and that there are countries where the young are expected to die, irrelevant consequences in ancient and financial tug of wars for religion and power, drugs and sex. Despite my tears and my concerns or even my actions on “behalf of” I am still protected by the label “third world countries” and my own privilege. Continue reading
“They tell us to wear masks, repress and hide our true feelings, teach us to adapt our personalities to the marketplace, and then they expect healthy functioning. Is that even possible from below a mask? Can it be any surprise that humans are depressed and act out in hurtful ways when they have been conditioned to distort their truths, bury their feelings, grin and bear it? If we want humans to act empathically, we have to model it to them as a society. If we want humans to stop hurting others, we have to support healthy emotional release so that they do not accumulate toxic feelings. If we want humans to move from their most heartfelt authenticity, we have to stop shaming and shunning their genuine expression. If we want humans to move from love, we must love them first. We can’t teach repression and disguise on a society wide level, and then expect loving, compassionate behavior. It’s entirely ridiculous.” Jeff Brown
As a human being you are guaranteed to make mistakes. I told my teens that it was their job to make mistakes because no-one gets it right the first time, every time. What mattered, was not the mistakes, so much as the lessons learned. When they were babies they learned to walk and they fell…often. They also walked funny, they only walked a few steps, they clung to chairs and walls … and eventually they used all that information from all their efforts, including the falls … to learn to walk. Continue reading
Sometimes people insist they want nothing to do with other people, citing something that person has done – often it is something that happened a long time ago. That kind of response is usually accompanied by a line like “Until she gets her act straightened out . . . ” or “Until he apologizes . . . ” etc.
We all do stupid stuff when we were kids. We have all done things in our lives that we are not particularly proud of and often, with time and distance, we see how we could have/should have done things differently. It is not always possible or practical to ring up people or send announcements about how we have grown or changed. You can be pretty sure if more than a year has passed that person is most likely in a completely different head space, just like you are. Life is movement. Some of us jump in and swim with the flow and others are taken prisoner and carried along with the rest of the debris, whether they want to kick and scream, sleep on a bit of drift wood, or just hang on for dear life. Continue reading
Many people find it hard to allow others to love them because they do not love themselves. Like me, the messages from childhood concerning who we are and our value, are carried with us into adulthood and it takes some thought and effort to change deeply imbedded ways of thinking … or ways of being. Long after the parent, or bully, or teacher has disappeared from our lives, no longer having any access let alone power over us, we enforce the “rules,” inflicting them on ourselves with a cruelty that often surpasses our childhood. Continue reading