a middleSage publication

Life Is All About Change, or Learning From the Uni...

Life Is All About Change, or Learning From the Universe

Tai-Chi-SymbolI once had a Tai-chi teacher that said “The only thing constant in the universe is change. Those who struggle against it become miserable trying to hold on to a current reality, instead of accepting that to live is to change.”

I can’t even remember the wise teachers name, but what he said struck such a chord that I have carried his words with me. He was right. Life is as much an ebb and flow as are the ocean tides. I have seen his words as:

– people stuck in a bad relationship because that’s what they know and it seems easier to stay with the known then venture into the unknownUnknown

– parents trying to control the decisions their adult children make because the son/daughter’s decision is different than the one they would make

– businesses fail trying to hold onto an outdated paradigm images-6because “that’s the way we’ve always done it”

– we try to hold onto our loved ones, our families, our childhood homes as we once knew them – instead of embracing the memories and releasing the sorrow that comes from death, relocation or loss

I normally do pretty well with change. However, right now, I am the last example.

Since my dad’s tragic death a year and a half ago, we have been dealing with insurance claims, lawsuits and enough heart-ache to last a life time. During all this there have been constant reminders of stability: our childhood home where mom and dad raised us; the family still in the “home base” area; the home we came to know after mom and dad divorced and he remarried my step-mom; the family celebrations at that house.

But life is about change. My step-mom is lonesome and totally over the midwest winters. She’s looking for a life with more people her own age, weather that won’t impede the interests she has, and the ability to cultivate new relationships and interests. She is selling the house and moving to either Florida or California. (But I think Florida is in the lead…)

Life is about change. While I’m thrilled that she’s excited for a new start, I didn’t expect all the emotions it would conjure in me. That’s the house where they got married. The house we all (mom included) celebrated holidays and birthdays. The house many stayed for those holidays since we’re spread all over the country. It is a festive house hosting many parties and celebrations. It’s the house we’ve shared sorrows and hurts. That house is our homing device, our touch stone.images-4

Life is about change, so I have to stop worrying that without the homing device we won’t see each other, that our holiday celebrations will fall by the wayside, that we will cease to be all that I have come to know, love and depend on. Worry comes from trying to live in the future instead of living in the present, and I just need to knock that shit off.

My rational self knows everything will work out. My rational self embraces change as a new adventure. My rational self knows that this change will be paramount in the wonderful, exciting, new adventures of my step-mom, and friend, of which we will all be a part.

Life is all about change. Sometimes it’s the change in our own life with which we struggle. Sometimes it’s the change others bring about that affects us. The beauty of life is that the only constant is change. It is the acceptance that nothing stays the same which slowly grinds our rough edges and allows us to move more gracefully, more efficiently, and with less pain, to each change in our life.

The only constant in the universe is change. I can choose to labor with mixed-up emotions, struggle and be miserable about the impending changes in our lives, or grab our new familial experience by the tail and bounce headlong into new joys. Hhmmm….I guess you should call me Tigger.Unknown-2






  1. I love this piece — and have spent years dealing with change as a professional topic. Beautiful way of addressing it. And I LOVE Tigger.

    • Lee Aldrich

      3 April

      Thank you, Donna, I appreciate your comments. (I also sent you a message on FB with the link you asked for. Let me know if you have any issues with it.)

  2. Maryl

    3 April

    We closed up my parents house a few years ago after they both passed. I’ve chosen not to drive down our old street when in the area because I know it will make me feel sad and why make yourself feel sad? Besides now I’ve got to start dealing with selling my house where decades of family and friends have gathered for many occasions. Don’t know how I’ll get through that but I will and focus on some new adventure. Thanks.

    • Lee Aldrich

      3 April

      Mary Lou – its hard not to feel sad when we wander around in our past. Sometimes its because we long for what was, miss the people we loved, or because our situation might have been less than happy. Taking a trip down your old street might be bittersweet – feeling nostalgic makes you sad, but remembering the fun, laughter, childhood games, etc., is also good to reflect upon.
      Good luck with your house, too. Moving can be such a pain, but it’s also cathartic getting rid of all the stuff you may have help onto just a bit too long.
      Thank you for sharing your comments.

  3. I have always been change-averse. Having moved multiple times as a child, I searched for stability as an adult, and I’m fortunate that I have it. But I have to say, the changes I’ve had to deal with have always brought me better and more exciting experiences. It’s all about going with it!

    • Lee Aldrich

      3 April

      That is very true. It is all about going with it, but sometimes we’re scared and flail about in the flow until we relax and settle into it. Thank you, Sharon, for your comments!

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