The only constant is change. Our lives move from one moment to the next, constantly in flux, with no two moments exactly the same. For the most part the change is subtle, something we don’t take constant notice of. And sometimes, our lives change in an instant, both joyfully and terribly.
I always believed myself to be a person who accepts change. In fact, I was known to state that I like change, I actually welcomed change. Then one day, in one significant moment, someone asked me if I welcomed change that I didn’t initiate or want. Hmmm…Hell NO!
What comes to mind is my divorce from my second husband. Although I embraced the changes brought about by my new marriage, my new home in Rochester, and my new life as the wife of a prominent community member, I was not prepared for the real changes that those new experiences generated for me. At the time I didn’t realize that change begets change. And the ultimate change I found myself embroiled in was not initiated, nor wanted. And with the daily tears, I lamented the change over and over again.
A Buddhists teaching says that our lives are filled with ten thousand joys and ten thousand sorrows. To me this gives new meaning to the adage “This too, shall pass.” Yes, the sorrow will pass. But so will the joy. That is the nature of change.
How do we embrace change, whether it is a change from sorrow to joy, or joy to sorrow? We can be aware of being present, in this moment. Celebrate the joy in the small things such as how the sun shines off the dew in the early morning grass, the sound of birds as they call to one another, or how icicles sparkle as they dangle from the tree boughs. These are some of the ten thousand joys we experience. And they will pass as the sun moves through the sky, the birds fly off, and the icicles melt.
This is true as well for our sorrows, though oftentimes we cannot see it. And though we will let the joys move into the past with a beautiful memory, we are not so willing to let go of our sorrows. In fact, we will hang on to the bitterness and anger, and only when we are forced to let go do we finally release our clench on that which is bringing us unhappiness. Being present in difficult circumstances will allow us to lean into the hurt, the pain, and the bitterness. To feel it, and then let it go. Just as we let go the beauty of shining dew, singing birds, and sparkling ice.
This too, shall pass. But it is in the living of each moment that we find the beauty of each and every passing joy and sorrow, and then we can embrace change as a part of our human experience.
Love and Light,