The gift of change
Founder of The Mindful Moment, Dr. Alexandra Domelle shares her thoughts on the value of change in our lives
One cannot go through life and be untouched by it.
Every moment presents itself as an opportunity to teach, to heal, to give rise to experiences that shape us in infinite ways.
This is change.
Suffering comes when we resist these experiences, choosing to either cling to certain aspects that with the passing of time no longer serve us or by refusing to bend and allow moments to flow with ease. By clinging on, our burdens grow heavier, leading us to feel like Atlas, unable to let go even when we know that this holding on is hurting us, and perhaps even hurting those we love.
Similarly, our refusal to bend creates more problems than it solves. Whether it is to do with our ego, or our desire to maintain face, the truth is that we bring much woe onto ourselves through our actions.
There are some in this world who fear change for the uncertainty and disruption it brings. This fear perhaps comes from past experiences that hurt them deeply and made them feel that the only way to experience joy was to maintain a degree of control over their actions and those of others.
This, we know is futile.
Change comes, regardless of whether we want it or not.
Change comes in every moment, every breath, and every heartbeat.
And if we were to look at this closely, we would realise that change is every moment, every breath, and every heartbeat.
To live is to experience change. To live is to change. To live is to be changed.
Those who understand life know that nothing lasts forever.
When we cling on to all that which no longer serves us, we find ourselves being buried in the depths of despair or locked in the struggles of suffering. Here, we inadvertently narrow our gaze, thus locking out all that is good, all that is beautiful, all that is miraculous and focus only on our pain. It is as though the rest of the world ceases to exist and all we are is our hurt, our pain, and our suffering.
And as time goes on that which we focus on continues to grow until we are deaf to the sounds of songbirds, blind to the rays of sunshine, and immune to the presence of love, kindness and compassion.
Our outlook takes on a bitter flavour that tarnishes everything in its path. And yet for this suffering, hope is never lost. For no matter how deep our wounds, our long our scars, it is through this brokenness that light comes in.
Our deepest moments of suffering are what compel us to understand and empathise with other beings.
The stories that brought about the pain may be unique to us but the scars they leave behind bind us to our sacred tribe, the one we call humanity.
To live is to experience change in all its forms.
To live is bear witness to our joys and sorrows, to our loves and losses, to our triumphs and disasters. Though in saying this, I realise that whatever we experience, whatever label we ascribe, whatever we believe to be our truth is a matter of perspective.
Our emotions, perceptions and experiences are the lenses through which we view life. When change comes, we fall back on these lenses to guide us to places of security, comfort and protection. We become adept at staying on a particular course, hoping that the same reactive patterns will result in the same outcomes.
This is not how things always work out.
When we let go of the burdens we are carrying; when we let go of the pain we are harbouring, when we let go of our assumptions, expectations and desires, we find ourselves free. We are free from the reactive patterns that we’ve been following. We are free from the same old script we’ve been enacting. We are free from the drama, noise and chaos that swirl within and around us.
Change provides us with the opportunity to pause and reconsider our thoughts, words and deeds. It provides us with the chance to break free from reacting and to instead choose responding. It provides us with the way to live mindfully, in complete awareness of the present moment.
This is the gift of change.
May you allow yourself to embrace change in its many and varied forms.
May you pause in your thoughts, words, and deeds to check whether they stem from fear or love.
May you recognise that we are connected in ways that go beyond the way we speak, look, and live.
May you open your heart to healing, love and compassion.