Hold on Tight at Your Own Peril

Change happens.

Sometimes it happens all at once with devastating strength. A diagnosis or a loss appear out of nowhere.

Other times it is more gradual. I see it out of the corner of my eye but choose to put on blinders. I hear it coming but choose to crank up the noise around me, so I don’t have to pay attention.

I know it well. Denying change feels like the right thing to do at first.

I sit there feeling the winds of change as an uncomfortable draft at my feet. I shudder and reach for thicker socks. The gusts of transformation then climb up my legs and a general sense of unease fill me.

I get up as the winds outside get stronger. I close the door tightly only to have a window blow open. I shut the window and tighten the hatch, and watch it blow out moments later. I close the storm shutters and board them up only to feel the house shake as cracks form in the walls.

The longer I deny the winds of metamorphosis, the stronger they get until gale-force hurricanes lift the roof over my head and the walls crumple around me.

Now I’m alone and unprotected in a tempest. Things are flying around me and there is no safety. I find a ditch, flatten myself on the earth. I cower. I lie there with my hands around my head to protect it.

Regret overwhelms me.

How I wish I had listened when the winds were just a breeze. If only I had paid attention then.

I wouldn’t have been able to prevent the storm, but I’d been able to see it coming and could have planned my course of action. I’d been able to better sort my options and prepare alternatives.

But because I refused to see it coming and was busy blaming the condition of my clothing and the faulty construction of my walls, I am now out of options. All my finger pointing has been in vain. Blaming, I see now, is a one-way ticket to despondency.

All I can do now is to lie there and watch debris fly around me.

Certain structures and patterns in our lives, in the lives of our loved ones, and in the lives of our communities outlive their time.

Once they are obsolete, they’re destroyed by the winds of change whether we want them to or not.

Winds of change are inevitable.

For me, fighting to maintain the status quo has always proved to be fool’s errand.

Denying change, feels safer short-term but leaves me as a victim of circumstance. Acknowledging change and dealing with it is uncomfortable at first, but allows me more time in the drivers seat choosing a direction.

Author “The Blues — Why it Still Hurts so Good,” artist manager. PhD Wisdom Studies. Contributor: The Daily Beast, The Bern Report, Classic Rock Blues Magazine.

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