Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Change


Had an epiphany today: I realized that I have coupled in my brain, the belief that when something ends, anything really, that A) that is a bad thing, and B) nothing good will come after it. I know in my heart and soul that that is absolutely false, the opposite is in fact true, but my mind has itself convinced that endings are bad and changes brought about by endings are painful, hard, and to be avoided at all costs.

My cousin Emily was here in Portland recently. There was a second memorial service for her husband, and I got to spend more time with her. I told her how much I marveled at her calmness, her it-will-all-work-out-ness, and especially her lack of need for control. "You're easy to help," I said, "because you allow others to do it, you don't have a way it has to work, you're okay with however it does work."

"That's because I finally learned that things work out better when I don't plan them," she said. 

Since that conversation I've been really watching and touching with gentle awareness how true that is in my own life, too. Each day I try to have a plan for the day, and on the days something happens to change that plan (read: every day), when I allow the new plan to emerge and not fight it, but go with it, it works out even better than the very excellent plan I had thought/obsessed over. Without fail.

Got some news yesterday that some things are going to change around here. Even though the news wasn't a complete shock, or in any way bad news in and of itself, I have been struggling to not view the change as bad just because it is change. The change changes my plans. My plans were good ones, therefore any change to them is bad. I'm working with Mary to reprogram myself to believe that change is neutral and natural, that old moves on so that new may move in, seasons pass, we all evolve and with that evolution comes shedding and growing, dying and rebirth, over and over and over again.

And it's all according to plan.

* Photo from www.flexiblelearning.auckland.ac.nz

10 comments:

Angie Ledbetter said...

It truly was a liberating moment in my life when I *finally* realized that to plan/anticipate/depend upon any one thing happening was setting myself up for disappointment and other negatives. Now I pretty much think, "If it happens, good. If not, anghh *shrug*. Maybe it was for the better."

Everything for a reason...even (and especially when) we don't know the whys and how comes.

Mary will help you. She had a life of plans/hopes fallen through.

Huggage

Elizabeth said...

I get this. And I have to say that I love the way your mind works. I really do.

Wanda said...

Bless Emily.

There is nothing but change.

Jan said...

Oh, Carrie,

This...
"The change changes my plans. My plans were good ones, therefore any change to them is bad"
...is me, in a nutshell.

And this...
"change is neutral and natural, that old moves on so that new may move in, seasons pass, we all evolve and with that evolution comes shedding and growing, dying and rebirth, over and over and over again"
...this is where I want to be. So if you have any pointers, let me know!

Because I know you'll get there, lay the path; I just want to tag along.

Love.

Janna Qualman said...

This is an important life lesson. We all need to take note. Thanks, Carrie.

deb said...

awesome.
I'm not much of a planner.
But I have learned to replace the underlying cynicism that was there in that to trust and a resign to knowing that things kind of work out the way there were meant to. Especially if I open myself to seeing how and why you know.

Deb Shucka said...

I love this post. And I love Emily's words: things work out better when I don't plan them. The word "better" rings in my head. This is another verse of the acceptance and not resistance song, and written beautifully.

Jerri said...

love.

Anonymous said...

it is according to the plan. and the plan goes like this: every moment of every day you are not the same "you" as the "you" before that moment. hence, don't hold so tight to that moment, BE FREE!

luv always,
cindy

kario said...

Yup, with you. Change=suffering. Except that Buddha said you've got to let go of that, didn't he? And Deb Shucka said she's learning that change holds equal possibilities for dark and light.

You continue to amaze me, my friend. I know that you will stand firm and graceful through the changes going on in your life and we will all benefit from your wisdom.

Love.