The Illusion of Sameness and the Constancy of Change

“No one ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he/she is not the same person.” ~Heraclitus

Autumn Sky

I have been experiencing some unwelcome change in my life this past week, which has brought me back to reflecting upon change in our lives.  I have been engaged in many discussions about the return to normalcy and how we sometimes rush this in our grieving process and as we’re healing from illness.  This has inevitably (because my background is in Philosophy and this is the way my mind functions) led me to reflect on, “What is normal?”.  Is change normal?

There are times in our lives where nothing seems to change.  People may ask us, “How are you?” and we reply, “Same old, same old.”  Is it really the same?  Or is sameness an illusion?  Perhaps we are just not aware at that moment how things are changing.  If we start observing our bodies we notice that they are in a constant state of change as they adjust to our environment, the food we’ve eaten that day, the emotions we are experiencing.  If we observe nature we see how the light in the sky changes from day to day, how the plants grow or lean toward the sun, how an animal’s energy fluctuates daily.

However, there are definitely times when change seems to come all of a sudden.  For instance, in the case of storms that uproot our lives, accidents that occur suddenly, or the loss of a job that seems to come out of nowhere.  Change can come suddenly as well.

So how do we cope with change?  How do we accept it?  How do we embrace it?  Certainly the benefit of know that we have survived change in the past can help us feel confidence in the face of change, as can the support and wisdom of other people’s lives and experiences.  Sometimes we think or feel that our experience is unique when really it is so similar to what others have experienced as well.

For me, recognizing and experiencing the changing flow of energy in my body and spirit and knowing this is the way of the universe fills me with peace and acceptance.  Self-Reiki brings me back to a place of calmness and wisdom that embraces flux and the constantly changing river that is our essence.

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