I’ve lived most of my life relying on absolute truths. It’s one reason I became a priest; I believed that the absolute love of God could change people’s lives. I still hold onto absolutes: the reality of a spiritual existence, the sun shining brightly, the universal consciousness and intelligence many call God, the power of relationship. Yet these absolute truths pale in comparison to the one absolute beyond all others: change.
I’ve never felt comfortable with certain changes. Yet it’s been necessary for me to make room for them in to my daily life. Some are easier than others to accept. Others baffle me as unnecessary intrusions into the rhythm of my life. And some changes just make me angry, such as my loss of several molars due to the dental practices of the past that actually destroyed several of my teeth!
Change itself doesn’t overwhelm me. Rather it’s the pace and degree of change that threaten to send me over the edge at times. I balk at the time it takes, for example, to learn yet another computer program just to get my work done efficiently, or the frustratingly long time it takes for people who are “connected” to technology to get back to me. A simple phone call used to be enough.
Change is really the only absolute I can rely on. And its continued acceleration due to technology seems to be part of the equation. I accept the fact that I’ll just never get caught up. And I also have to accept the reality that my fact-based education is not as relevant to today’s world since everything I’ve ever learned can be found online anyway.
But there is one element that continues to change for the better: wisdom. Wisdom cannot be learned. It is accumulated throughout life if we have our eyes and ears open…and our mouth closed! Wisdom is a form of genius that any of us, no matter what educational background, can possess in abundance.
I find that my wisdom increases whenever I am conscious and intentional each day. If I ask: “How might this particular change make a positive impact on my ability to help others?” I gain a bit more wisdom. Studies of brain elasticity have taken away any excuse I may have had against learning something new. Rather, such studies underline the very concept of wisdom, of the cumulative knowledge, experience, and skill that elders in particular possess.
Knowing that each of us has genius makes change all the more significant. Change shifts our paradigms, our souls, and our ability to address this fast-paced world in a new way, a way that brings people together in fresh relationships of nurture and hope. What is your relationship to change? How is change working for you? And how is your working against certain changes actually sabotaging your future happiness?
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