I stand on the upper deck of a massive ship – as if the rain can’t touch me. There is a subtle moon hovering over the ocean. A short distance away, I can see the dark clouds and the halo of the rain approaching, as we move forward in the dark waters
I can smell the rain from far away; I sense it’s velocity from a mile away.
At times, in life, we are anticipating this momentary, yet tumultuous change; we can feel it coming. Like a slow motion movie, it’s happening right in front of us. We wait, paralyzed by the motion and unable to change the outcome.
Maybe it’s a loved-one suffering illness – maybe it’s watching the break-up of a relationship – maybe it’s the dissolution of an institution that you have served for many years; maybe it’s just a dogma or an illusion, that’s crumbling in front of our eyes.
Like many, I experience multitudes of change and am just the spectator of this change. I sit here, thinking and worrying, how I can affect this change – how I can come out better or stronger, after the change – how I can make the outcome different from what I foresee. I search my mind for strategies and paths forward.
Often, life doesn’t follow a strategic plan. It just takes over like a un-forecasted storm.
Sometimes, you just have to let that change happen and not try to hold on to what was true in the past. Whether it’s a job, a belief, or a relationship – you have to let the change take place on its own motion.
I am learning to take deep breaths as the change moves toward me. I am learning to tell myself that there isn’t much I can (or should) do, to affect the upcoming tumult.
I am scared of that period of uncertainty, which comes right after the change – when things are vulnerable and in a flux – when boundaries are not set and we wonder what’s going to happen to us, if things don’t settle down. I feel insecure and want to run back to the past.
A good friend reminds me: This Too Shall Pass.
When you have experienced massive changes, like migration from one part of the world to another, or dealt with major corporate upheaval, what you have developed, is a strong intuition to foresee change – to understand the nature of change, and most importantly, the learning that, the easiest path forward is to just embrace the change – versus resisting it.
I remember, when I first came to go college in the US, I experienced a similar loss of environment; my father had died recently, I had left my loving family behind and adventured out to a foreign land where the sounds and smells were completely different where I grew up. Change was all around me, engulfing me, overwhelming me; I managed to learn and grow with that change; eventually, I embraced it and became one with it.
It’s only when I let go and not try to impact the change, that I gave myself the permission to be free.
The wind becomes stronger and I feel the intensity all around me. It starts with a few large drops and quickly turns into a downpour as I hold on to the wood railing to balance my step; I feel the piercing of the rain on my face and my clothes, as it zips by – touching all over, all encompassing, not waiting, not really caring how I feel. I try to open my eyes but all I see is a glassy glare around me. It’s only when I completely surrender, does my anxiety dissipate.
I know I am standing here, in this sudden rain, for a reason. And the rain doesn’t wash away that reason.
The quick rain passes in a few minutes; but in person, it feels like a long period. You realize you are drenched. But there is a freshness about in the air. I survived the change – I made it through this unpredicted storm. I feel stronger now, than I was a few minutes ago.