Yes!

July 14, 2014 at 10:18 pm (Uncategorized)

I was talking to a friend the other day about paradigm shifts and the way that your whole life and outlook can change in a moment. By paradigm shift I mean the tilting of your outlook – all of a sudden your existential ground has shifted right beneath your feet, and you’re never quite the same. We can’t help the dynamism inherent in existence. Regardless of whether you actively seek change or do your best to avoid it, these metaphorical (and metaphysical) earthquakes are unavoidable.

There’s a certain fear and excitement that accompany those moments (and the anticipation of them), because you never quite know when it’s going to happen. Sometimes you realize what’s happening in the moment, and at other times it isn’t until later that you realize everything changed. Both are really interesting to me. I think about some of the people I’ve dated, for instance; I knew that something was going to happen with Chelsey after seeing her at graduation our junior year of high school. She was wearing a green dress, and I had a premonition that something big was in the works. She turned into a great friend and challenged me in just about every way possible. I credit a lot of my growth towards the end of high school to her. I had a similar moment with Kristin, and our relationship and friendship certainly altered the trajectories of both our lives. I had another moment (not with a person) but when I saw Avery perform with Phi Mu Alpha my freshman year of college – I knew that I was going to be a part of that organization and it changed my life in almost any way you want to look at it. In all those instances, and many more, there was a realization in the moment that a change had to happen. I don’t know if it’s fate or wiring, but I felt like I didn’t have a choice – the moment I felt the pull was already the moment I was falling into what my life was going to be. 

In my personal opinion, you have to embrace those moments. Change is coming, and we can either say yes to it or we can fight against it. Saying yes is always the better option. Embrace what your life can be, and will be, because you don’t necessarily get to choose the raw materials, but you do get to choose what you’ll create out of what you get. There’s a quote by Eckhart Tolle that I really like: 

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

We will all have times, after which, our lives won’t be the same. We can either fight the new reality and try to live in our old paradigm, or accept that things won’t ever be quite the same. I’ve been taught that lesson over and over – with each moment in my life I can choose to be better at going with the flow instead of swimming against it. I wouldn’t have picked some of the breakups in my life, I wouldn’t have chosen my parent’s divorce or my brother’s illness or the jobs I didn’t get, but to get angry and hang on to what I wish my life would be like in any given moment would be counterproductive. Getting angry, wishing for something else – those keep you blinded to reality. At the end of the day, life is about paying attention. I can’t pay attention if I’m wishing for life to be something other than what it is. In all honestly, would I really want it to be any different? Happiness lies in my reaction to life, not the circumstances I’m given. I also know that I’d miss out on the good times if I didn’t take the bad along with them. 

I know more change is coming – I’ll be ready to say yes. 

 

 

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy, for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another.” – Anatole France

 

“If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles, we can greet the future and the transformation we are undergoing with the understanding that we do not know enough to be pessimistic.” – Hazel Henderson

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