Imagine an old house that is falling apart. It is beginning to slide off the foundation, the electrical wiring is frayed and the plumbing has corroded beyond repair. At this stage in the life of the house, it is better to demolish it than to continue making endless repairs. The cost of replacing fixtures, appliances and internal systems would eventually outweigh the cost of building a new house. A new foundation can then be laid and brick by brick a new house is built. The completed house functions far better and will last longer.
Like endlessly trying to repair an old decrepit house, we sometimes resist necessary and inevitable changes. When life suddenly takes a detour, it can create anxiety and fear. For many, changes like residential moves, change or loss of a job and ending relationships send ripples of terror throughout one’s very being. Some view change as failure while others view it as catastrophic. In reality, change is positive and a sign of an evolving life.
When transitions begin to present themselves in our lives, we can choose how we respond to them. We can embrace change with openness and flexibility or react with rigidity and resistance. If we open our arms to the natural flow of life, we are able to create powerful experiences based on joy and love. New experiences appear to replace what has left. If we are resistant to life’s inevitable turns, the flow continues but we experience things as being ripped away from us. The more we attempt to hold onto things that are passing out of our daily existence, the more we resist the evolution of our own lives and souls.
Beyond our personal lives, we are witnesses to social, economic and political structures that are constantly in flux. The changes are aimed at revising what no longer serves the greater good and the expectation is that something better will replace the old outdated way of doing things. Change can appear chaotic as old structures and relationships dissolve. The wisdom of the universe is not chaos but love and stability. It is our own perception that creates the chaos.
Many people hold onto relationships that no longer serve their highest good. Even if the relationship is lacking trust, communication, fidelity and love, sometimes we resist the ending for fear nothing new will replace it. When one partner wants to leave and the other holds on, it creates tension and resentment. The relationship will still end, but the partner who was left will feel abandoned and may even hold out hope for a return.
In situations like this, it helps to embrace the house metaphor. The old house is no longer safe to live in and so a new one is built. The end result is a beautiful, safe place to live that provides shelter, warmth and new experiences. Although the old house gave its residents memories and experiences that can never be replaced, it makes no sense to hold onto it when the repairs are more costly than building something new.
Nothing in life can remain static. Nature has cycles. Life has cycles. From birth to death we change, grow and evolve. From year to year we learn new things, master new skills and alter our beliefs. Who you are today is not who you were ten years ago. If you are faced with changes that make you anxious, remember all the things you’ve allowed to change in the past and how your life has been transformed.
If we resisted moving from one classroom to the next as we progress through elementary school, we would not learn anything. Our bodies would grow, but our minds would remain stationary. It makes no sense to repeat kindergarten over and over once we have mastered our ABC’s. As we learn the lessons in grade school, we progress to middle school and then onto high school where we graduate. With each grade we expand, learn new skills and transition to the next level. Life is evolving and so are you. Embrace change, keep moving to the next level and allow life to become a joyful experience.