A perspective of youth: The more things change, the more they stay the same. I’m not sure who the first person was who said that. Probably Shakespeare. Or maybe Sting. But at the moment, it’s the sentence that best explains my tragic flaw: my inability to change.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. The more I get to know other people, the more I realize it’s everyone’s flaw. Staying exactly the same as long as possible, standing perfectly still… It feels better somehow. And if you are suffering, at least the pain is familiar. Because if you took the leap of faith, went outside the box, did something unexpected… Who knows what other pain might be waiting out there. Chances are it could be even worse. So you maintain the status quo. Choose the road already traveled and it doesn’t seem that bad. Not as far as flaws go. You’re not killing anyone… except maybe yourself a little.
When we finally do change, I don’t think it happens like an earthquake or an explosion, where all of a sudden we’re like this different person. I think it’s smaller than that. The kind of thing most people wouldn’t even notice unless they look at us really, really close. Which, thank God, they never do. But you notice it. Inside you that change feels like a world of difference. And you hope this is it. This is the person you get to be forever… that you’ll never have to change again. (Insightfully written by Everwood)
Taking in again the meaning of the thoughts above while retyping them I find myself feeling OK with, and even thankful for my quandaries about my own personal change. Frequently I have brutalized my self for an inability to be what it was I thought I should be. Not infrequently such musings have focused on things that hardly mattered a month later.
There is much I can complain about concerning getting older. Yet the passing of years have allowed me to become wiser and to find less to be unhappy about. As there is less discontentment the easier change seems to come. There is something about loosening my grip on everything the way it is, the more life becomes the way I want it to be. Yes, I have unfulfilled plans, goals, hopes and dreams, but they are not the heavy obsessions I once labored under. Now such desires are more like coins tossed in a wishing fountain with faith such things can happen. Figuratively, as I toss them into the water I let the wishes go keeping a hope the wish might come back to me manifested one day. Often a wish is about a change I want to make within or about my self. I know all my wishes won’t come true, but many of them can if my desire is sincere, my need is consistent and I am willing to bear the discomfort of change.
On one hand maintaining the status quo can become very easy as I have made it to middle age. Change can become my enemy if I allow it to. Or change can be my great friend. By a person’s 40’s and 50’s either he or she is either completely stuck and will slowly fade into oblivion with age just as they are. Or else, he or she realizes time is precious and earnest change becomes much more possible, even mandatory. Either a person just evaporates slowly or realization hits one upside the head with thoughts like: “you don’t have forever… get moving if you want to accomplish what you promised yourself to do… you can change if you truly want to… gain takes pain so don’t fear it… you can do it…” and so on.
The last five years have been the hardest and most painful of my life. At the same time the last half decade has also been my most insightful and wisdom producing period. The thinking for most of my days has been an uncertainty if I was happy, but felt at least I was not unhappy. Those thoughts have changed in recent times to where frequently I say with a smile “I’m happy”. Some of that knowing comes from real personal change and coming to grips with old tragedy and heartache. However the majority does not come from change, but rather from acceptance of my self and living better the live that I have.
Plainly, I have discovered the major culprit causing dissatisfaction and discomfort in my life: ME! That epiphany did not suddenly cure, fix or change anything specific except my attitude and view of things. And with that simple adjustment, my life now has wonder and possibility I did not see before. I’m a very grateful man for that slow to come and difficult, but simple insight.
It doesn’t matter what we do until we accept ourselves. Once we accept ourselves, it doesn’t matter what we do. Charly Heavenrich