I apologize for the grammar, but hey, it’s a lyric from a song.
The late, great George Carlin once said, “I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed.” There’s wisdom in that as well as humor. Living under a brain as I do, I’ve noticed that often it seems to me as if nothing changes, and apparently I’m not alone, based on how often I hear something like, “Same schmootz; different day.” This contrasts sharply with the truth of the matter, which is that change is constant and just as inevitable as death and taxes (and often equally desirable).
On every level of material existence, everything is changing in every moment. Nature shows me a different face every single time I commune with Her, which is often. 98% of the atoms that currently comprise my physical body will be comprising something else 3 months from now. Even more amazingly, according to Ken Wilbur the entire manifest universe blinks in and out of existence every .00000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 seconds. So in the time it took Carlin to put the dollar into the machine, a whole bunch of things changed. It’s rather amazing how well our brains hoodwink us into believing otherwise.
Even the Bible reminds me that everything changes. One of the most common phrases in it is, “It came to pass…” Not once does it say, “It came to stay.”
I used to resist change, which is probably why I was OK with the hoodwinking. I even resisted change when I knew I could use a great deal of it. Change brings me into the unknown, which at times seems worse than whatever is going on, no matter how bad it is. This has historically been compounded by my tendency to want to figure out in advance all the possible ramifications, combinations and permutations that could result from making a change. And my figurings and imaginings were not usually what one would call the best case scenarios. No wonder I resisted change!
I’ve come to embrace change, and this has been a tremendous gift. Understanding that change is inevitable is very helpful to me. It reminds me that I can change. Sometimes I look at some of my issues and berate myself over the fact that I’ve been working on the same ones for 30 years. But when I breathe and look more deeply I clearly see that I view these issues now from a much different perspective, approach them with many more effective tools, and generally hold them with a lot more humor and lightness. That’s a huge change!
As I’ve let go of figuring out what might happen if something was to change and focused instead on expressing my deepest values and intentions no matter what was going on, every day I become more of the person that I choose to be; every moment the spiritual being that I am shines forth a little more brightly. In becoming aware of (and OK with) the impermanence of things, it has also helped me to remember to focus more on what doesn’t change, to identify more and more with the eternal, unchanging, unchangeable aspect of my being. This divine essence is my anchor and has become a safe haven in the storms of the world and of my mind. It’s easy to fall asleep to that essence when I buy into the idea that things don’t change. Change keeps me awake.
Change is gonna do us good, especially when we remember that it’s the only constant and when we remember to use it for good. The coolest thing of all is that every time I focus on what doesn’t change and awaken to the depths and truth of my being, everything changes.
And if that’s all we remember, that’s more than enough for now.