Updated: Apr 14, 2018
The yoga guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar describes life’s journey as a bus ride. We don’t get a group ticket. Each of us has our own point of origin and our own destination. Along the way, it’s true, we share the bus with several people, some of whom sit closer to us than others, some of whom stay on the bus with us for a long time. Eventually, though, either they will get off, or we will. We step onto the bus alone. And we exit it the same way.
Several important people in my life have either left my bus or begun to pack their bags in the last few years. I’m at that age, I suppose. Even though I knew at least some of these things were coming (the goal of raising children is, of course, to nurture them to the point where they can fly off on their own), they still caught me off guard. I was very snug in my corner of the bus, wrapped in my illusion that things would stay the same forever. I don’t know about you, but I hate change.
Well, of course, when I am in my wisdom, I know that change is inevitable. The world is made up of swirling atoms, which are constantly rearranging themselves into different forms. Everything on this earth--everything in this universe--is journeying from what it has been to what it is becoming. Fighting this law of nature is a little bit like piling up sand to make sure that next wave doesn’t roll onto the beach.
The good news is that we don’t have to get washed away. It’s possible to learn how to surf the waves of change, even when they seem like tsunamis. Because we’re human, it’s hard. We have a built-in, biological need to create those illusions of stability and constancy in order to feel safe. But it’s possible to face change head on, accepting it, expecting it, even having fun with it.
The first step is to stop looking back to shore. The past is the one thing that we can’t change, no matter how fondly we wish we could.
BETH PROUDFOOT, LMFT, is a collaborative divorce communications coach and child specialist in San Jose, CA. Permission is granted to reproduce this article in it's entirety, with attribution.