Paddlers have an expression, “You never paddle the same river twice.” Change is constant on the river and off. There are changes we grab hold of, a wedding of a child, a new baby, the first house, a new job and changes that grab hold of us, a spouse dies, a child leaves home, a job ends. The only sure thing is that there will be change of one kind and another rather you like it or not. Resistance is futile, born from fear. I mean, it’s either fear or love, right? We fear losing control, fear failing, fear success, fear the unknown. Fearful souls who have forgotten who they are clutch at an illusion of what is like a drowning man clinging to straw.
I’m not immune to the siren call of fear no matter how often I salute happy endings and new beginnings. I like change… most of the time. Although I am loath to admit it there are moments when change and what I think it may or may not bring leaves me shaking in my boots. That’s when I know that it’s time to exercise my change muscle.
It’s just wrong to wear cowboy boots and good eyeliner then tremble with anything but desire. So, I take a class to learn something new, chase after a cowboy or drummer or two, buy a new brand of toothpaste or try a new food I’ve never heard of, cut my hair, find a new route to work and get lost again. I listen to an opposing viewpoint with a curious mind and respect. Remember that, respect? I become reacquainted with the only truth that matters besides love; I don’t know everything and no one of us has all the answers. With my change muscle stronger I am able to step into love and out of fear and remember in the depths of my being who I am.
Life is a rich, wonderful wilderness experience and change is part of it. So grab hold of change, come on I double dog dare you to. Do one thing that is outside your comfort zone, one thing that scares you a little or one thing that is just a wee bit unexpected. Do it for your sake and do it for mine. We need all of us to be the best that each of us can be, free beings united in the love of God and each other, free of fear and strong in love. Then and only then can we celebrate the happy endings and new beginnings we so desperately need.