Nothing is permanent. Everything is always changing, in constant flux. It seems at times, as Churchill would say, that change IS the only constant in life. Let us apprehend, for a moment, before we can indulge the glory of this declaration that nothing is the same from one minute to the other. In seconds, science tells us, our bodies undergo numerous cellular processes, changes implicit in the growth to maturity of a living organism. The loss of elementary particles ultimately changes the unstable nuclei of some elements to more stable ones, and though impossible to predict in simple quantifiable rates, it happens to all matter in the universe, continuously. This notion, and for its sake my suggestion of apprehension, is scary to most people. Presenting it invariably returns queries of fear; it implies a lack of stability or perhaps the idea of uncontrollable alterations to our state.
Physically, these changes are inevitable, regardless of what corrupt snake oil salesmen like Deepak Chopra claim. There is nothing we can do about them except to accept them, and prevent any suffering from arising out of them. Some things are what they are, and as that, they are beautiful fragments of the natural balance in which we are meant to exist. But it is exactly the anguish that this truth can bring that I have looked at for some time. I have, as made clear before, found it very important to most people. Change is scary, and as uranium and radiocarbons continue to lose particles and mutate into something different, so too must we change, fundamentally, into something different. If we are happy, the loss of someone (or something) dear and important will certainly change us into someone less content. We see it happen all the time, don’t we? We all know that one person who having been pushed by circumstances into the forfeiture of valued principles, has become a different person. They are worse off than before; they are less than they were because of the sacrificed trait that once made up the whole of their complexity.
These events of change, loss, and surrender to the suffering both can bring are all too common – but not because change is essentially bad – but because humans are not adept at embracing it. We argue vehemently against the things that have to change naturally, and in what seems like a senseless expenditure of energy, we rebel against those things that we cannot change. We juxtapose what we would like reality to be against what the world of experience shows us and suffer when the two are irreconcilable. It would make all of us happy at this point if I could tell you that this is a flaw of the human character that is possible to transcend, and rejoice, because it is.
There is no better way to arrive at an understanding, to a more beneficial contract with change than to go with it, to follow it where it may want to take you. As you flow with it, you tend to find that the modifications made to your character are often either simple amendments to the “you” of yesterday, or a positive reframing of the ideas that same “you” held as true. No, I will neither tell you that you can stop all change, nor will I tell you that it is always pleasant. Change will inevitably be difficult at times, but I reiterate that embracing this “inexorableness” will help you cope with change itself.
My mind has been in the moment for most of my experience; and though I have forced it to dwell upon perceptions of past and future conceived in rigidity, I have once again returned to that “mindful” state of the here and now. Only right now matters, look to the past to review certain lessons, you will know which ones when only the moment is imperative to forward movement and growth. Look to the future only for planning and in so doing avoid the anxiety that the unknown can bring. Be free, and enjoy.