Here’s a little contradiction for you. Of all organisms on the planet, it could be argued that humans are the most adaptable, yet we avoid adapting wherever possible. We don’t really like change at all. You know it’s true. Your favourite brand of washing powder is no longer produced and you stress about finding one that was just like it. You don’t rejoice in the opportunity to find one that’s even better. Thinking bigger than the laundry, anyone looking at Greece or Syria or Somalia or the US could tell you that our current economic and political systems don’t work. They really don’t. No-one could say the system works when 5% of the people hold 80% of the wealth and children are killed because their parents want a better life for them. The outcry is deafening from so many quarters. All you have to do is look at the headlines on the BBC News website. We want change in Syria, change in football, change in the NHS, change everything!
There’s a big problem though. Change is hard. It’s hard because although the status quo is treacherous and unfair, change is the deepest unknown. Yes, it’s rubbish the way it is now, but if we change things too much it might get worse. That other brand of washing powder might irritate my skin, it might not smell as nice as the old one, so we lock ourselves into the present out of fear.
Change seems chaotic and out of our control, but it really only seems that way. As one wave crashes onto the shore and moves a grain of sand, another will follow and move that grain again. It really is a beautiful thing. If we wanted the grain of sand to stay in one place we would be creating stress and unhappiness for ourselves because it’s impossible to do. If we embrace the new place that grain of sand finds itself in as simply part of the order of the universe, we will see the change as evidence that we are alive and ever-growing.
If you are experiencing loss or change that seems overwhelming, maybe these thoughts will help:
Your current changes are for the best.
What appears to be loss is really the start of a happy new phase.
The old must be released so the new can enter.