“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ― Lao Tzu
The thought of not having a manicured yard never crossed my mind. I’d watched my daddy spend lots of time trying to get grass to grow in our yard when I was growing up. Yards should look nice, I believed. Then I had children and our once green and relatively weed-free back yard became the place we let our boys and their friends dig for buried treasure and create trails for their trucks. The yard never fully recovered, but the memories are irreplaceable. That’s how life is, isn’t it? Lots of us resist life’s changes, sometimes wisely, but sometimes we just need to let things flow naturally forward, enjoy the process and even redefine “a nice yard”.
I wonder sometimes why we resist change like we do. It’s scary to change, so that is a big drawback for many. Cutting foods, habits, or even people out of your life can be a scary proposition. Adding foods, habits, or people can be even scarier, I think. I’ve always said that when I kept people in my life who weren’t necessarily good for me it was because it was easier to live with what I knew than to have risk the uncertainties of those I didn’t know. It’s easier to keep going to the same service station, barber, grocery, church, and so many other places we’ve always gone because even if they drive us nuts we know what we’re dealing with, right? Oh, but what might be waiting for you and for me if we are willing to change, and then go so far as to make a change? Maybe you find a friendlier clerk at the new store or a smarter mechanic at the new service station. If it’s true that life is always changing, then why don’t we allow ourselves to investigate the possibilities?
While I tend to do many things on my own, I love going through life with my husband. He just announced that he plans to retire soon from a job he has been in for twenty-five years, a career of more than thirty years. We’ve never changed much in our lives, but that’s about to change. Life will be full of change, and as it’s flowing forward I don’t want to miss a minute of joy simply because I’m afraid. It’s taken him a long time to admit he’s ready to move forward with the natural flow of life, but resisting it would have brought sorrow, so here we go!
What about you? Are you so busy trying to change the way other people are doing things that you’ve overlooked the possible necessity of changing some things about yourself? If our goal in this year is to be better people, don’t we begin by changing ourselves instead of trying to go against the natural flow of things and risk finding sorrow? Maybe it’s time to try new things in life, with a partner if you have one and on your own if that’s how you find yourself today. If the water in your life is trying to move you forward, why would you want to keep paddling to go backward? You’re just going to wear yourself out and miss the boat of adventure.
This is your time, right now, to embrace what life is offering you instead of trying to tell everyone else what they should be doing. Put your toes in the water and see which way it’s flowing. Pay attention and you just might discover there is a lot of joy waiting for you and those you love.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi