We go through so many seeming deaths and lives in one lifetime. A change of location, a change of career, a loss, a new perspective can catalyze the cycle of death and rebirth again. Some of my old selves are so far removed from me that they are the same me and yet quite distinct from who I am today. I wonder if I would get along with them. I think of them from a distance and with intrigue. Within them I see primordial forms of myself as well as constant threads that are still there. I wonder who I will be in the future, how I will change again, how I have stayed the same. I am always the same and always changing.
Change is a constant part of life and when we feel that the cycle is pushing us up and out of our equilibrium so we can achieve an even more mature equilibrium point, we have to take it. To accept the invitation to change always leaves your heart on the table. This is when all your fears come out to try to protect you. Your mind will try to defend you from the soft vulnerability of your heart, with worry and rationalizing and fears. It takes courage to dust and keep dusting till you reach the clean landing of your heart and touch on the heart of your cares and admit that you have skin in the game and it is okay to feel.
I am learning that any change will require me to build new muscles and that with practice those muscles will get stronger and so will my ability. You can only do it by doing it. I can build my muscle for listening. I can build my muscle for compassion. I can build my risk muscle. I can build my conflict muscle. I can build my assertiveness muscle. I can build my leadership muscle. I can build my communication muscle.
I am learning to give it time. There is always yet another thing to do but these days I may follow my family to the market, taking a break from the urgent work because I know we will not always be together. To tap into the rest phase and not just the work phase. To invest in the process and trust the outcome. To water the soil and know that the crop will germinate but it may not be until a few more sunrises and that’s okay. In the meantime, there is room for fun and play. In the meantime, there is life to be lived.
I am learning to listen, touch on and honour exactly where I am and where others are. I am learning to try to not compare myself with others, my growth with theirs, my progress with theirs, what I need with theirs, and to not hold myself to their standards even in insecure or uncertain places where it is easy to mistake others’ conviction or loud certainty for truth.
I am learning to focus on my life intimately and detach more from the noise. I want to take every moment and live it and let my life have its way with me. I want to learn from and be changed by life at least as much as if not more than I’d like to make a change, because there is so much more to learn and there are many things I don’t know.
I am learning to try as much as possible to be led by my hopes and not my fears.
I am doing all these things rather imperfectly. I am also learning to be okay with not being perfect.