March 18, 2010

Time for a Change

Over the past month I've been having dreams about my kids being toddler-young. The dreams are sweet, capturing memorable things about each one that I adored in them. My younger daughter was born with really big lips, still has them to this day, so her baby lips were featured in one of my dreams (odd, I know). In the dream were images of her snuggling up close to me, lips in my face, upset with something in that cute way only toddlers can get away with. (When you've seen adults try to pull anger and cuteness off at the same time, it really doesn't work!) The dreams of my older daughter have featured simply her nearness, which reminds me of years ago (ten, to be exact), being a new mom and getting used to having a new person to love who was ALWAYS there with me. Day in, day out. Exhausting--both mentally and physically, but in looking back, I see it as what jump-started my soul from merely existing to really being alive with passion. I was surprised at these dreams, because I don't usually dream about my children. Right now, life with them is still pretty simple and uncomplicated because they are only ten and seven. There's not much drama relating to them to work through in my dream state at this point. And then I realized that these dreams are not really about them; they are about me coming to terms with the fact that they have changed . . . are changing . . . will always be changing. I'm not okay with them getting older and growing out of those early years, because it means leaving behind a whole world, a whole pattern of living and interacting. But I have to learn to be okay with this inevitable change in them because it's unstoppable. It's all for good. The larger lesson for me in all this is to look around in other areas of my life where I've been fighting change within myself because I'm scared of letting go of old ways and patterns simply because I've gotten used to them, even though they don't serve me. Change always feels awkward and doesn't fit comfortably until you get into the flow of surrender and acceptance---where joy usually shows up.

Here are photos of my daughters standing against an old beech tree. The photos were taken exactly two years apart. Their physical changes are subtle yet dramatic at the same time. But the most important changes have taken place within each of them.

The beech tree as well has undergone dramatic change throughout its centuries in the earth. But the day-to-day physical changes are almost imperceivable. If the tree resisted its growth, though, its natural tendency to reach upward for height and yet also reach deep in the soil to remain anchored and stable would keep it a sapling, just a mere stick of what it could become if it accepted the changes in itself along the way. Change calls forth movement, uncertainty, transformation, discomfort, awkwardness, stops and starts, decision-making, and most important . . . FAITH. Faith in what could be, or hopefully will be. But it's all unknown.
Author Caroline Myss reflects on how life challenges us to move forward instead of remaining in an unyielding, mental mind-set: "Seen symbolically, our life crises tell us that we need to break free of beliefs that no longer serve our personal development. These points at which we must choose to change or to stagnate are our greatest challenges. Every new crossroads means we enter into a new cycle of change . . . . And change inevitably means letting go . . . and moving on to another stage of life."

1 comment:

Phil Parker said...

Change is the vehicle of transformation.