“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu
Sometimes I am often in awe of the changes that have happened in my life in the past six years. The tumult, turmoil and triumph have been terrifying and tremendous transitions. But why be reflective of the changes? Why not be consciously aware of the transformations as we move forward in our lives?
When changes are traumatic and dramatic, it is difficult to embrace the idea that your life will be different. And in reality, when hard times knock on your door, you just want to get them over with! The good news is that major life changes-whether good or bad- don’t happen everyday-thank goodness!
Change happens constantly and most of the time we don’t notice it because it is so subtle. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I love to run so much. My early morning routine has allowed me to notice even the smallest of things. Winter running tests your dedication-it is mostly dark and very cold and often icy. But if you move through the short period of blackness, you begin to notice the shift from dark to dawn. One of my favorite times is when both the sun and moon hang opposite of each other in the sky. For me, it is a sign that living a life of balance can help provide awareness of the beauty of each day. I also think that I have greater tenacity when my ying and yang can hang together nicely.
Back in October, I wrote about transitions and the conflict (within ourselves and between loved ones) that can sometimes arise during these times. I wonder, though, if the conflict comes about because of either a lack of communication or because of a lack of being cognizant of the changes taking place in our lives? Or does it show up because we don’t always control the change? Or is it all three?
I am blessed with deep friendships and loving family connections and it is through these relationships that I have come to understand that all of us are undergoing realignments in our lives. And let’s just throw out the old cliche’ of “mid-life crisis” as THE major life change while we are at it. My soul sister is journeying through a small multitude of refinements in her life that include navigating through her daughter’s teenage years, seeing her oldest off to college, pondering a possible change in her long time nursing career and- most recently- preparing to say goodbye to the family’s beloved dog. A long time friend and her family (who lived here all of their lives) just moved two cities away. The move is no doubt a positive moment in their life. She finally feels at home. But it is also strange. She said to me: “For so long I turned left; now I have to turn right.”
Sometimes it is hard to watch our own parents make changes in their lives as well. I had a wonderful conversation with my seventy-seven year old father this morning. It was enlightening to listen to him as he related some of the shifts he is making in his own life. I think for some of us (including myself) it is hard to imagine that our older parents would develop new relationships or lessen their involvement in life-long interests in order to pursue new things. We want them to stay the same because that is all we have known our whole life.
I suppose the same holds true for my sons. I will be getting married and moving away within the next two years. For them, mom has been the sturdy rock in their lives. This house is their “base camp.” So it is a little freaky that I will not be here most of the time! But we are working our way through this change together. The timing is good for their ages. It helps that they live more in the real adult world where they can practice independence. And the goals that they have are ones that will have them feeling safe and secure upon my departure. I have seen my sons mature more in the last six months than I have in a long while. This is a good sign.
As for me, I am both anxious and excited during this time. It will not be easy to leave an area that I have known all my life- a place where I have embedded community connections and relationships. But a huge part of my life is now elsewhere awaiting its next phase. I am ready to embrace it! In the meantime, I can honestly say that I am enjoying the journey to my next destination thanks to the loving support of my fiance’, my family and my friends.