...four, three, two...there! Do you feel it? No? Ok go back and try it again. I'm sure you'll feel it this time.
Life is a constant tumble of change. You breathe in, breathe out and somewhere in that breath, life has changed irrevocably for someone, probably you. Maybe you sucked in some germ, maybe in a zen moment you reached a higher consciousness, maybe you decided to buy those damn cute shoes even though you shouldn't. Maybe somewhere someone decided that you are the person they'll love 'til the end of times, or maybe they decided to sue you. Maybe your kid discovered his passion, or maybe she discovered where you hide your secret chocolate stash. Maybe someone you love just was born, or born-again, or breathed her last breath. Maybe that damn butterfly is flapping his wings again wreaking havok on your weekend with a resultant late spring snowfall in Iowa. But it has been said in simpler terms...the only thing you can depend upon is change.
Change is frightening...and exciting...and chaotic...and refreshing...and exhausting. How ever you choose to look at it, change is a fixed aspect of our lives. We grow, experience, age and falter, and move ever closer to our final change from this life to whatever moves beyond. Human beings try to outsmart the "butterfly effect" by being prepared for anything. But it has occured to me lately that this is a frivilous waste of time. We can't predict what is next any more than we can predict which leaf might fall from the mighty oak first. We might ultimately be able to get even that to a really terrific educated guess, but to what end? Once it falls, we then look at each other and say, "Ok...we got that one. Now what do we do?"
A year ago I wouldn't have thought about life like this. I was managing everything and enjoying nothing. I was on a schedule, on time and in a groove...a groove that resembled a rut in retrospect. And then, the earth moved and my rut was gone and all that was holy in the world of order abandoned me. I found myself crying a river of tears one night and giggling madly with the girls the next. My once predictable role of mother to my children became as complex as navigating a mine field. My own personhood was a strange new land of discovery. And the bizzare thing is, I loved every minute of it. The hurt, the anger, being oddly self-possessed in some places and completely unable to mask my emotion at others. I've climbed through my own hang ups and examined them like my son examines the bark on trees. And it all felt like living...not existing, but really living. This change, this is the stuff that makes a life a story worth telling. Living through challenges helps us measure who we are, both to ourselves and to others. Possessing joy with willful abandon gives the world the gift of our presence.
My advice to you today is don't wait for a rift in your own time space continuim. Get out there and embrace the changes being tossed your way today...experience them, love them, hate them, mourn them or celebrate them. But let them surprise you...you have a gift in that.