Life is full of ups, downs and sideways. When we think we have life figured out it has a way of reminding us that it is never controlled or predictable. The question becomes; “Will we accept life as a constant state of change and challenge or continue to try to manipulate it to fit our needs?”
I was talking with someone yesterday about; “what is normal?” As we conversed back and forth there was agreement that there is no true normal. We spend our lives adjusting to the everyday small and sometimes huge changes that happen. The little tweaks are hardly noticed while the bigger adjustments are much more difficult to handle.
Accepting the transience of life is a necessary step on the path of peace. Only within, deep down, can big and small changes not move us. What is outside of us is always in flux but our inner selves can stay solid and still.
When your only bathroom in the house is being remodeled you find creative ways to workarounds the missing bathroom. You wash your hair with a cup in the kitchen sink, take sponge baths, and other ways to do other bathroom things.
Life has a way of making us adapt. We get used to what’s normal just to experience the demolition and forced to adjust or be lost in confusion.
Wisdom teaches us to be aware of how transient life is and how “normal” is an illusion. Everything temporal is always in flux. The key isn’t finding a place that never changes but learning to find peace in the motion.
My wife bought a new coffee pot yesterday and I don’t like it. It’s fancy. Lots of lights, buttons, dials, even a clock, but I don’t care for it. There’s nothing wrong with it per se but I had a great relationship with the old one. It was a simple coffee pot with only an ON/OFF button. It made wonderful java for many years. It’s brew kept me warm on cold winter nights, awake on mornings when I received early emergency phone calls, helped me stay alert on road trips and made a particular gurgling sound when the coffee was ready. It was perfect, well perfectly suited for me.
However, the last few weeks it stopped cutting on when the switch was flipped. Sometimes it took several tries and a good whack before it began to percolate. Since I am the one who usually makes coffee for the family I didn’t mind the extra effort because of the history we shared but yesterday morning my better half attempted to make our morning brew and wasn’t at all pleased. Sigh, out with the old, in with the new. This morning I fought the urge to pull my old friend from out of the trash and instead, again, accepted the reality of change, transition, dissolution and impermanence.
Change bothers me. I don’t deal well with it even though wisdom teaches me all of existence is in a constant state of flux. So, I breathe deeply, let go of attachments to material things and take a big swig!