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Everything is Changing

Everything is changing all of the time. The weather changes, our families change, our careers change even the way we feel about something changes.  Sometimes the thought that everything changes makes me feel really happy and other times I feel scared and sad.  I’m happy that the iciness of winter is followed by the warmth of spring. I’m sad when a visit with family and friends end, and they have to go back to their homes.

The members of recovery programs have always known about change. They are reminded to take one day at a time, because the next day will be different than today.  This is important when trying to recover from an addiction.  Even though they feel a strong desire to work another hour, have another drink, or buy another lottery ticket; if they are able to make it through the day, or even the hour, they will see that the desire will change. As one day leads to another day, months and years pass; and if they are able to maintain their recovery, everything begins to change.

I am particularly happy that our feelings change. I once read that the physical feelings of an emotion actually lasts only 60 seconds. Most people when experiencing an emotion such as sadness tend to be in their heads and not actually feeling what sadness feels like in their bodies. Most of us don’t pay attention to how we are feeling but rather run hundreds of stories in our brain and they usually are negative scenarios such as “I’ll never get a job and I’m a failure at….”. I doubt very strongly, that a positive thought such as  “Well it’s possibly okay that this job didn’t work out because there may be another position right around the corner.” We really don’t know what is right around the corner, but what we do know is that something is around the corner, because everything changes all of the time.

The Buddhist teach impermanence because they believe that if you understand and accept impermanence as the natural flow of life, then you will not be so frightened or resistant when change happens and you will suffer less. It’s the resistance to change that causes suffering. Practicing acceptance of impermance is particularly helpful when our bodies begin to age and we realize the full circle of life.

What helps me when I am facing small changes such as being upset because the sunny day changed to clouds and I’m on vacation, or bigger changes such as myself and my loved ones are getting old and our bodies aren’t cooperating (a light way of saying wearing out, never to be 20 or 30 or even 50 again); I remember that I am part of the natural universe and I can either dig my heals in and think overwhelmingly sad and horrific thoughts; or I can see life and everything that happens in it as beautiful. I bring to mind the yellow roses I planted this year which open slowly to a vibrant yellow and then after a few days begin to turn a light yellow almost a whitish color and then die. And then I smile and look up at the unending changing sky and see that the world is very beautiful and alive and changes in millions of ways everyday.

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