That’s a pretty popular and powerful word in the 21st century. It got a president or 2 elected, it inspired the Civil Rights movement, and it’s something I get way too much of at the Farmer’s Market (seriously, make those peas an even $2, I don’t need the 2 cents back for $1.98 peas).
Joking aside, it’s a season of change for me, which for those of us wired to like their world tightened and shored up, can be a bit of a grim adventure. Some days I am wired just negatively enough to see an unknown future as something terrible, and so when a little unexpected goodness happens, I’m less grateful for it and more inclined to reply, “Well, at least it was that rather than this bad thing that could have happened.” A mercy that has been mistaken as the stand-in for a terror is a great waste.
Other people associate change with a bright and positive future, something to be grasped, an elusive and yet attainable paradise awaiting us just around the corner. That’s the kind of change that gets people to vote for you. But this too can lose it’s candor. The future is in it’s truest form, a reality, just like the present moment. A part of that reality will be struggle and hardship. This embitters people of false hope all too quickly, and soon they are joining me in the grim-view.
Maybe this writing is a little cathartic, I’m almost sure it is. But I think it’s important to call it out, name it, and change it.
We cannot waste the abundance of the present moment by enshrouding it in the gloom of an imaginary or darkened future. The future is not all bad, it merely will be what it is. A lost client seems terrifying in the moment to a small startup, but in truth, it’s possibly making room for someone better. A failed pitch may be preserving you from working with someone who is all too eager to take advantage of you. But you won’t know that until later. Being too busy to take a desired new client may force you to look harder at your partnerships and be more choosy at the expense of “money now”. See what’s going on here? We are passing the future from it’s grim dominance and moving it into a more grateful state, here, now, in the moment, no matter what.
When we are thankful for the unpredictable, either comfortable or uncomfortable, we are just waking up to change as it is, rather than as something ultimately positive or ultimately negative. Calling it what it is, a shift in seasons, and removing the “good or bad” makes it something far more natural and acceptable to us. We remove the burdens of expectation and begin waking up to change as it comes, in whatever packaging it decides to take.
I for one am tired of reacting to it from a fear-driven mindset, but I’m not going to shift to the other end of the spectrum and call change the best thing since sliced bread. I’m not going to vote for it to solve my problems. What I will do, is just accept it, be grateful for some things that don’t change, and grateful for the things that do, trusting that it will be what it is, and that it will be all right, whether it’s “good” or “bad”. I will hope for a reality, rather than a fantasy. Time will tell anyways. Accept it as it comes, stay always grateful, and more importantly, live presently. There is no need to be addicted to or scared of change.