Thursday, July 27, 2017

Everything changes, nothing will ever be the same, but you will be ok.

I'm deep in my feelings today.  I've been thinking about life in general, things that various friends are going through, and my own life over the past year, with all of its fits and starts.  So many of us are struggling in this "season of change" that seems to be afoot.  Here's just one personal example:  A little over a year ago, a long-time good friend of mine passed away unexpectedly.  Today would have been her birthday.  I was already managing some chaos that had shown up in my life (also unexpectedly because chaos is a rude bastard who won't call ahead), and the passing of my friend was a blow that still makes me hold my chest to keep my heart from falling out of it.  To say that I miss her, and I think about her often is an understatement.

That said - we are alive, you and I.  I know that I'm alive because I can see all of the junk that needs to be cleaned up in my living room right now, and I know that you're alive because you're reading this.  So let's get to it:

Living = Changing.

That's it. 

Anything that is alive is in a constant state of change.  Of shifts, degeneration, lying fallow, and rebirth.  There's absolutely nothing that we can do to stop change.

We know this, and still we hold on to notions, people, places, titles... things that may have served us well once, but not any longer.  We will white-knuckle the hell out of something or someone because we "love" this "thing" and if we let it go, we might be worse off.  Fear keeps us holding on, and when that happens, it owns us until we open our hands.  Personally, I'm more afraid of being paralyzed by fear than I am of anything else.  Except maybe bugs.

I'm not suggesting that you blow up your life, UNLESS you hate the current state of affairs in your life, in which case you should take measures to blow it up immediately.  For the rest of us?  Most of us?  We don't HAVE to blow it up because life will do it for us.  What once existed in abundance will ebb.  Things that we DON'T want, will flow for a while.  Sometimes we feel like we are going to die (or wish that we would), but we live.  We see constant change all around us in nature, and, as much as we humans try to defy nature, we are very much a part of "nature."

So when ebb zigs when we want it to zag, and when flow does the opposite, how do we keep ourselves upright?

Sometimes we don't.  Sometimes we just need lie our asses horizontal for a while and be pitiful.  Wallow as if your life depends on it, because it might.  If the "wallow" phase goes on for too long and you can't get out of it on your own, reach out for help in the form of a trusted loved one, or a professional.  Read some books.  Find a supportive, safe space on the internet.  You don't have to go it all alone.

Once the shock and acute pain wears off, take note of what appears to be your "new normal."  Don't force yourself into old patterns - they're like old clothes that don't fit anymore.  Get butt-naked and see what fits you now.  I feel like I've been naked for about a year, and am still only partially clothed again. It takes the time it takes, and soon after you get dressed, you'll find yourself needing to get naked again anyway because, "changes."

Trust your gut - it knows the way.  This is where so many of us get stuck.  We try to be rational about our life choices, when we really are feeling beings.  When we make decisions solely from our heads, it usually makes every other part of ourselves unhappy.  This is how we end up miserable in high-paying jobs that *should* make us happy.  Or in relationships with people who, according to the checklist, *should* be a good catch.  Don't *should* on yourself.  Allow your gut (or "intuition") to gently guide you, then use your head to figure out HOW to do what your gut is telling you.

We really do have everything that we need in order to thrive, including access to people who can help us along the way, we just have to be willing to get naked and stay that way until our new wardrobe shows up.

--Nicole

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