It is Fall in the Northern Hemisphere. One of our seasons of change, people say. Maybe all seasons are seasons of change. Maybe we are constantly changing. Constantly in a state of flux, but we are not aware of it. There are moments, of course, when we are acutely aware of change, for example, during major life events like moving, changing jobs, getting married, etc.
Lately, I’ve been reflecting a lot on my body’s physical changes that are coming about because of my age. Many of these are not welcome and I’m having extreme difficulty with acceptance. In contrast, I was reflecting on the changes we observe, and welcome, in children as they grow and mature.
We marvel at the first year of life and all its physical and developmental changes — the first tooth, the increase in height and weight, the first words, the first steps. But on the other end of the spectrum all the physical changes are to be accepted, not celebrated — the first gray/white hair (and the many that follow), the veins that must be covered, the eyes that need assistance, the shorter height, the injuries that heal so much slower, and speaking of slowness, the races that will never be won. Nothing to celebrate here. Just accept. We cheer on the ascent into adulthood only to turn our eyes away from the “decline” to old age. The statistical bell curve of life: going up is good, going down is bad. Why must it be a decline?
So this is where my mind is right now, in a battle with acceptance. Why accept? What’s in it for me? Accepting seems like rolling over and playing dead. Is that what I’m practicing to do?
I once worked for a woman who, during times of corporate reorganization, would spout out “Change is good.” She would repeat it as if trying to convince herself and us. Change is not in itself good or bad. Change just is. Our perception of it is what makes it good or bad. In her statement she was glossing over the fact that some change is bad – it’s painful, difficult and sad (if those things are indeed “bad”). Again, change just is. It is: inevitable and constant. We can celebrate it, as in a child’s growth, or we can rail against as in our attempt to look and act younger than we are. Change: accept it.
My mind is continuing the battle with acceptance. I’m trying to smile at my wrinkles and marvel in the new, even if I don’t welcome it. My body is doing the best it can and I try to help it with adequate sleep, nutritious food and plentiful exercise. A daily dose of self-Reiki helps too. It brings me back to the constant and universal within me.
Wishing you light and peace.