“Oh no not again,” I anxiously muttered under my breath. I knew our lives would change once again, but I am sick and tired of moving.
We live in the middle of rolling hills and wheat fields with a green treed canyon on the other side. Spring is carried by the whispers of the wind long before it actually arrives. Nature never fights change. It invites, embraces, and anticipates the change in seasons.
I become stiff and rigid as the seasons of my own life ebb and flow. It seems our lives are constantly changing. To be honest it makes me crazy.
In the ten years that I have been married, we have moved six times and we’re about to do it again. I fight against the rampant irritability that lurks below the surface.
nature has something to teach us.
Fall drifted into winter. The trees shed their dead leaves. I braced myself, feet firmly planted, as the bitter cold wind whipped against my face. It was annoying to watch how the trees swayed, almost danced in the wind. The biting cold air burned deep in my lungs. Suddenly I heard the word surrender from somewhere inside in my spirit.
I don’t desire to surrender. I want things to stay the same. We built this place from an overgrown field of weeds. The shit storms we walked through just to get here still plague me. What was it all for?
Three years is just long enough for us to get settled. My kids and I are finally making friends. I don’t mind leaving places, but I despise leaving people. Rather than looking ahead to the adventure that awaits us, I’m stuck dwelling on what we are losing and leaving behind.
Trees have roots that hold them in place, I complain, in this lively conversation, I seem to be having with myself. They aren’t traveling from one edge of the forest to the other. That’s why they are strong and sturdy.
No, they are strong and sturdy because the winds of adversity cause their roots to crawl and reach down deep. If they don’t bend and sway they snap, break, and crash to the forest floor below.
Guys, this is a real thing! A study was done on trees, planting them in a biodome with the perfect growing conditions of soil water and light. The trees only grew so tall before they began falling over. What was missing? They soon discovered that trees need wind for their roots to grow deep.
“Whatever it’s still stupid,” knowing that I have somehow lost the upper hand in my deeply justified and slightly maniacal conversation with myself.
Fighting change won’t stop it
The secret to navigating change is learning to bend, letting go of the need to control our uncomfortable emotions. Here are some thought-provoking questions I ask myself after I’ve already spent weeks sulking and stomping around the house.
What underlying fear is causing this anxiety.
Does my resistance to change accomplish anything?
Can I use this situation to learn something new about myself and the hidden strength that lies buried inside me?
When I start asking questions it allows me to see more clearly. It always begins and ends with my very real need for certainty and stability.
Change is the only thing that’s certain. We can dance with the winds of change if we learn to surrender and let go. What exactly are we surrendering to though? We’re surrendering to our emotional seasons, turning towards our emotions, instead of shutting them down. Whether it’s a season of grief, anger, sadness, or celebration, rest in that season.
I no longer try to control, manage or suppress my hard emotions. I’m ok being messy and imperfect. I welcome the mess, knowing that the bitter cold winters usher in the intoxicating newness of spring.