It is a basic principle of the universe that everything is in constant change. Human beings, as a tiny part of that larger whole, are also constantly changing. Our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual capacity is in flux throughout our lives. As we learn, age, feel, and connect, our thoughts, beliefs, expressions, and actions change as well. It was Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, from 500 BC, who was most famous for his insistence on ever-present change being the only constant in life. He said “no man ever steps in the same river twice”. Based on that principle, I would purport:
No man ever meets the same person twice.
It’s quite astonishing that we can be so bad at accepting and adapting to change, since it’s something inherent in our lives from conception. In fact, for many, change can be downright scary. We get a sense of the safety from knowing and understanding the world around us. There’s comfort in knowing how someone will behave or react. Whether it’s a good or bad reaction is less important. Our sense of who someone is and how they behave allows us to be prepared for our interactions with them and that contributes to us feeling more secure.
When people change it creates a disruption in our comfortable state of knowing. So rather than make allowances for others to grow and change; we resist, react and judge them when they do. I mean, how dare they change, because now we have to change how we see and respond to them. Much of our struggle with others comes from holding onto an image or belief about who our friends and family were, and being attached to them responding to us in a specific way based on past behaviors.
Let’s take a moment to imagine a world that accepted and embraced change. Imagine if we allowed people to just be who they are in the present moment, whatever that needed to look like. Hanging onto the past too tightly will create friction in any relationship. Something will eventually have to give, like a dam that’s filling with more and more water pressure. The wall will come to a breaking point if it’s not built to handle the ebb and flows. Many relationships don’t survive because of this lack of capacity to hold flexible space for our loved ones evolutionary path.
Are you the one in the midst of big transformation?
The hard truth is that some may not resonate with you in the same way as you evolve. You might not have the same interests or opinions, but if they love you more than just your actions or expression (roles you play, personalities you present) then they will continue to love you no matter how you change. In this case, they love who you are at the core of your Being, not what you do or say. Just remember to give your friends and family a chance to learn how to respond to the new you, especially if you’ve been in relationship with someone for a long time. Although we are all constantly changing, we don’t tend to do so at exact the same pace or in the same way. Having compassion and empathy for each other is the best way we can support each other right now.
True love, true friendship, creates a fertile ground for us to grow, to evolve, to blossom, to die, and emerge anew. True love honors the entire cycle of life and the beauty each phase holds. Let’s give everyone the space to grow and change. We naturally give that breathing room to children and need to start extending it to adults. What if it was ok to shift focus, to re-align, to try new things, and explore different interests. Current events are demanding this of many of us right now. We are learning more about ourselves and others, being forced to make new choices, and respond in new ways. What kind of world would we create if true love and acceptance of change is part of our collective foundation in society?
Peace. Harmony. Love. Truth. Creativity.
I’m in. Are you?
Written by Robin Harris, Tranformational Coach & Workshop Leader