The Huddle #33: Keep The Change, You Filthy Animal
Wow. What a week! I’ve been sick as a dog –– fever, cough, the whole thing. And because of my unrelenting knack for drama, I did the thing where I convinced myself that this is The End. Aches and chills will be my new normal. Cancel my plans from now until eternity, and leave me with my ride-or-dies: Benadryl, my gravity blanket, and the vegetarian pho from Saiwalks.
But alas, this morning, I rose from the ashes (and by ashes I mean Kleenex) and taught. And dare I say, I feel… better.
Yesterday, I turned on the TV and noticed Bravo was showing a full Twilight marathon. Excited to indulge the fifteen year old in me –– the one who went to the midnight premiere of Twilight, New Moon AND Eclipse, I clicked on it. About ten seconds in, I recognized that this film was absolute trash.
Have you ever been sitting on your couch, perhaps looking through old photos or reminiscing on shenanigans you used to get into, and thought to yourself, “Thank GOD –– Thank god people change.” I am so thankful that I no longer have a vampire obsession, just like I’m thankful my oldest brother no longer owns a puka shell necklace, and my other brother no longer listens to dubstep. Sure, there are other changes in my life that have happened that are a little more, shall we say, emotionally charged (though what’s more emotionally charged than the love between Bella and Edward?! I digress). There was big stuff that was out of my control, and though I can’t say I’m thankful for all of it, most things that have happened have landed me in a pretty decent place –– here –– and at the very least, I can appreciate that.
Why is it, then, that often times when I feel something starting to shift or change in my life, I feel a knee-jerk reaction to dig my heels in and cling to the old? I turn into that meteorologist during a hurricane –– the one gripping the flagpole yelling, “We’re experiencing winds up to 50 mph!” into the camera. But I’ve been slowly realizing that this clinging to control, this way of practicing life, is not sustainable. This is because, as my sweet lil’ immune system has pointed out, everything is changing; everything is temporary. The bad colds, the heartbreak, the Twilight phase you (read: I) went through in high school, the bad dye jobs, the rain: ALL of it.
Don’t worry, I’m not here to tell you to “go with the flow” or “say yes to the universe” or any other BS like that. We’ve all gone through some incredibly hard sh** in our lives, and some of you are going through hard times right now. You don’t need me chirping in your ear with platitudes (Plus, feel your feelings!) But what I am going to offer you is this: Keep the change –– give it a chance. Hold space for it. You don’t have to embrace everything that's changing in your life. You don’t have to love it. You don’t have to tell it it’s right and you’re wrong. Just don’t ignore it and don’t shut it out.
Spiritual writer Pema Chodron says that everything that is out of our control is totally and completely neutral. Not good, not bad. Neutral. Can you lean into that neutrality? Can you find some breathing room there, for you and whatever changes are happening in your life? Maybe, for now, you could try it. Keep the change.
… You filthy animal.