Surrendering and Accepting Change
Today, an online friend shared that the house that she fought to keep after her divorce is no longer hers. She is packing and has to be out by March 1, as the court ordered her to leave, so her ex can sell the house, and is moving in temporarily with her mother until she finds a new home. This house represented her security after her divorce, and the comfort of the familiar while she finishes raising her children, a daughter who is her best friend, and a son who is a warrior and her teacher in patience.
She is scared, upset about her temporary loss of independence, and wonders where God is in all of this. Yet, this woman is aware at the same time, that perhaps letting go completely of her past, will help her to move on. Listening to her experience and understandable fears, reminded me of my own changes at various points in my life; some I planned, others which surprised me pleasantly, and yet others which had me complaining at how "unfair" life sometimes can be.
When I look back at my life's experiences, it all turned out to be just what I needed for my personal growth and sometimes for other doors to open; how much better it would have been to ease into change had I known then what I know and experience nowadays, that change and sometimes struggle is inevitable, but suffering is optional. With this in mind, I responded to her: "the first thought that came to me when reading of your change, that as uncomfortable as it can be, is life will either flow for you or not, depending on your resistance, much like when one loses a job or leave a relationship. We can go on a downward spiral or use it as opportunity to reinvent oneself, and totally let go. I know its easier said than done, but I have found in my life experience that this is just what life give us, the option to surrender or to struggle, when we face those turning points in our lives, and it looks like you are in one of those points." To me a scary part of living is stagnation; staying stuck in anger, in fear, in self doubt, never venturing into the unknown, because from this non resourceful state we miss evolving and creating the lives we wish to experience.
One example, that I can give of a sudden change that took place in my life, was when I turned 33. Three days, after my birthday, as I commuted to my stressful corporate job, I had a sudden vertigo spell for the first time, and staggered a bit to the office in the early morning. As one of my co-workers walked me to the medical department across the street where we worked, I suddenly went deaf in my good ear. I was already hearing impaired, and was plunged into a new level of deafness. A trip to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesotta, confirmed it was a membrane bursting in my ear which destroyed hair cells crucial to hearing. I wondered what my life would be like now, how would it affect my career, relationships, how could I communicate when I already had trouble hearing?
I allowed myself to grieve, while being thankful I could speak normally in two languages, but then asked my management two months later, to give me vacation time, and off I went traveling alone, much to the dismay or rather the horror of my friends and family. Yet, no one tried to stop me, not even my dear mom. I found out about everyone's concern after I returned home. I needed to do this, so I would not lose my sense of independence, to do the things that most take for granted, such as communicating with a ticket agent and negotiate a good seat, or check into a hotel that has the amenities I enjoy. I figured, I could stay stuck, lamenting the loss of hearing, or move on and lead a normal life, which I have done. The years following that sudden drop in hearing had me moving up in the company as I was very driven, until I finally walked away from my job where change took place, and my decision that the corporate life with its stress, politics and new negative management, was not in alignment with who I was.
Change, I have mused, is a part of life as most of us are by now aware, the little "deaths" that keeps clearing our paths, whether we like it or not in order to give us room to learn and experience growth. What we do with the good changes and the more challenging ones, such as "loss" is up to each one of us, do we surrender and accept what we have no control over and transcend a situation, or do we cling/resist to it and talk about it 20 years later, without having made any significant progress, at least spiritually or emotionally?
I raise a champagne glass to change, it has led me to a very beautiful place for the past 5 years. Thank you, God, who is in me and in all of Creation.
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