Change, our fickle friend. Whether it is a change in place, mind or mindset, change is an inevitable, natural and necessary part of life. While we often crave certainty, without change, how can we grow beyond a seedling? See life in all its colours and shades? Open our hearts to new ways of loving, our minds to new ways of thinking? Become better and kinder human beings?
As we move through our seasons, we must learn to be OK with outgrowing what has passed, so that we can sow the seeds of our future. Yet, we must also learn which seeds to carry with us. Sometimes the seeds are thoughts, sometimes they are places, and sometimes they are people.
In following our new ‘path’, our new ‘season’, we may not wish to enforce this path on others. But inevitably others may no longer be able to be on our path.
Here, we must always pause when we hear the opinions of others. The pause may be very quick or long; it depends on the nature of the opinion, who is saying it, and the kinds of people we have nurtured/permitted into our life thus far.
When people react negatively to our change, we might want to ask: Where is this coming from? Who are the people saying it? Who are these people in our lives? Are they a big or small part of our world, our foundations? Are they close to or far from our hearts? Do their feelings matter? Do we want them to continue to be part of our world.
And adding to this conundrum: where our change drastically disrupts friendships or realigns values, how do we still recognise the inherent ‘goodness’ of others that is reflected in ways not like our own, especially in a culture not our own, or in a culture that is our own but so far from the culture we want it to be? How much patience will we have? In following our true values, what allowances will we make for people who are spiritually at a very different level from ourselves? How much tolerance do we permit for differences, and how much of a role will we choose to play when others are not willing (maybe at first, or ever) to see our point of view?
We know from ourselves that acceptance of change takes time, so imagine for those around us what our change – good or bad – will bring to their world. Sometimes, acceptance needs tolerance first and a whole lot of patience second. ‘Our’ people must grow ‘tolerant’ (if not already) of something new, while we grow ‘intolerant’ of something old.
In reflecting on these questions, consider the twilight of your seasons. Learn to differentiate the weeds of your past from the seeds of your future, and only water the path that will move you – and those you love and need – into your new season.
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