Change. It’s one of those words that can occasionally strike fear into anyone who hears it muttered. People associate change with destruction. A tearing apart of the comfortable and the usual. However, it must be accepted. Change is a recurring matter, and cannot be avoided no matter how hard you try. You can’t escape its grasp, no matter how hard you ground yourself to what you know.
A while back, I tweeted how I wanted to write my thoughts on everything. I said, “We’ll call it Solutions.” This is that. However, this is not my thoughts on everything. If I wrote every thought on my mind, this short essay would be too long to manage, as thoughts are in fact infinite. However, the subject, or thought, presented here can tie together to almost every problem. Let me start with some background.
First, you should know that at the time I wrote that tweet, I was going through a rough patch in my life. Of course, the road is still a little bumpy, but I guess it will never be absolutely smooth. This was not a family matter, but was close to it. It involved some of my friends and a shit ton of drama. It’s still going, but at the time, it was at its climax, like a Jenga tower ready to topple.
I will not go into detail about everything that happened, but let’s just say we attempted to solve it, but instead made it worse. It’s hard to bring out thoughts in your mind and make sure everyone gets exactly what you’re saying. It’s pretty much impossible, actually. But, my thoughts lead me to a life-changing realization.
From the dramatic turmoil I had been dragged through came a light at the end of the tunnel, if you will. A very religious experience for me was born from the ashes. I’ll sum it up. I found, within myself and my beliefs, Buddhism. On a day of almost no positives, everything suddenly clicked together in my mind, and I didn’t feel as tense. I felt… almost relaxed.
I could see clearly, think clearly, unfortunately these clear solutions didn’t come out just as I saw them in my mind. But, in the middle of an all-out fight between us, I calmly closed my eyes thinking one thought: Nothing is permanent.
This was the one thing that got me through that experience, is continuing to lift me through it, and will, without a doubt, get me though so much more in the future. Nothing lasts forever. Accept change, don’t become attached. For if you become attached, it will lead to suffering.
So, I loosened my attachments, became comfortable with the idea that everything I know now will change, but will lead to new beginnings and better things ahead.
I wrote that tweet, yet until tonight, I never got around to sitting down and writing out all my thoughts.
Then, on Facebook, I saw one of my best friend, my long-lost “twin” (as we say), wrote a blog post titled, “Is Change Destructive?” I read through his thoughts, compared them to mine, let them sink in. At the end of the post, he offered a challenge, which many of you know I will willingly take. His challenge to his readers was to answer the title question.
This brought my mind back to that time when I promised to write “Solutions”. So, I replied back.
“Challenge accepted,” I said. So now, here I sit with my laptop. It’s about 9:30, and I am finally writing this out, thanks to Blake.
So, now comes what I came here to write. The purpose of this story. Is change destructive?
Truthfully, there is no one answer to this question. It is both destructive and constructive. Let me explain. You have something close, like a friendship or a marriage. It’s something you’ve known for a long time, and become attached to. Used to. There is a problem. Suddenly, this bond begins to break. You fear change. You want things to stay the same. You feel the need to jump and hug their knees, begging to not let you go.
“We can fix things,” you say. Let’s analyze this. You’ve clearly become attached to this person. You’ve known them for what seems like all your life. You want things to go back to the way they were. You’re becoming uncomfortable with the thought of losing them.
Change is unavoidable. If you don’t let them go now, the moment will come again soon. What’s the solution to this problem? Accept the fact. Cut your attachments to them, and move on in your life. If you dwell in the past, you won’t have the chance to find the future.
Life is a building. It starts out new and wonderful, but after a while, it will begin to crumble. To fix this and rebuild, you must first tear it down. Destruct. Lose your attachments, and accept the fact that nothing is permanent.
The second step is to rebuild. Construct. Move on from the past and find the positives in the future. Learn from past mistakes, but know not to become attached to what the usual may transition to be.
So, is change destructive? Yes. But, like a phoenix, from the ashes of destruction comes new life. More colorful, more dazzling, and more open than ever.
That is my solution.
© Brendan Swogger 2013