Every one of them, and they still can’t do it. They spend all their time arguing about who deliberately caused the light bulb to break in the first place, debating whether the science of electricity is reliable and fighting over which programs will be cut to pay for the new light bulb. On both sides, they seem to be preserving the world as they know it rather than crafting new partnerships that actual work in today’s world. In the end, it seems that they would rather stay stuck in the darkness of their own perspective than enjoy the warm glow of meaningful, shared solutions.
Change is not easy for any of us. We fight to hold on, and we fight to let go. Whether its politicians fighting to hold on to their seats (literally) or any one of us holding on to the past for grim death, we all have our ways of fighting to preserve the world as we know it and need it to be. We forget that change is inevitable. While reality is moving on, we often end up in mortal combat with change, either resisting it or pushing too hard, and you know who wins this battle every time- reality! Reality always wins.
The first truth of change is that change happens, and we are ALWAYS in the middle of it.
The Taoist story about the farmer whose horse runs away makes the point well. The neighbors say “That’s awful.” The famer says, “We’ll see!” Sure enough the horse returns the next day with another horse, a wild horse. The neighbors say, “You are lucky.” He says, “We’ll see!” The next day his son rides the wild horse, falls off and breaks his leg. The neighbors say, “You poor man.” He says, “We’ll see!” The army comes through town the next day, taking all able bodied boys off to war, leaving the farmer’s boy behind because of his broken leg. The neighbors gather and say, “We’re so pleased for you.” The farmer says, “We’ll see!”
There is ALWAYS more to come, more to learn, more to unlearn, more to be revealed, more to be hidden, more to wonder about, more to experience. We get so stuck on our current perspectives, forgetting that these too will change.
Apply the same principle to American politics. When conservatives are in the majority, liberals threaten to move to Canada. When liberals are ruling, conservatives threaten to move to…… Texas. (just kidding, I have some very good and open hearted friends from Texas)
We’ve seen a lot of fear mongering and anxiety in the last week. Just think of some of the headlines-
America is going to default on Tuesday and won’t be able to pay its bills. ~ We’ll see!
Washington strikes a deal about debt ceiling. Crisis averted. ~ We’ll see!
The deal will easily pass through the Senate. ~ We’ll see!
The deal may stall in the House. ~ We’ll see!
We’ll end up in another Great Depression. Lets all move to Nutopia. ~ We”ll see!
Someone is always crying “The sky is falling!” whether its politicians, the media or any one of us havin ga bad day. So we run to escape the falling sky. The truth is that the sky is never falling, but it’s always moving. We would be much better off to stop running, and enjoy the blue sky of the future. There is always more to see of that blue sky. Life is an adventure and when you get close enough, take Jimmy’s advice and kiss the blue sky of possibility. You can’t escape reality and you can’t beat change. It’s much better to join them. Once you make friends with change, it’s like a light bulb goes off in your mind. You see the light and dance in step with reality, until you and reality are like lovers spooning in the still of night.
As hard as change is, there is a peace within that grounds you while all else is changing. Wake up to this inner peace, and you will manage change with ease. Peace is not about being in a place where there is no noise, confusion or challenge. It is to be in the midst of those things and still feel calm. As Eckhart Tolle says, “Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive. Inner peace does not.”
Not even a leaf stirs on the well rooted tree that is your inner peace. It is a pond without the slightest ripple, the silence in the midst of a busy, star filled sky. Many things keep moving and changing around you, and yet your inner spirit remains calm and grounded. Visualize this inner calm every time change leaves you feeling anxious or unsettled. You are peaceful at your core.
Try repeating this affirmation-
I am at ease and peaceful even while everything changes around me.
Or this Eskimo Blessing-
May you have warmth in your igloo, oil in your lamp, and peace in your heart.