Change can come gradually, or all at once. Sometimes it feels like our world is stuck spinning its wheels, when all of a sudden, we look around to find an almost unrecognisable landscape. Change operates at different speeds throughout the different areas of our lives, from the glacial pace of macro-level social change to the overnight upheavals of our personal lives.
Finding our centre can be hard in any context. We might be waiting around for positive change that seems like it will never come, slowly losing faith in our values as the world continually fails to align with our hopes and aspirations for it. We might be floundering in a sea of the unknown, cast adrift abruptly by the loss of a job, the death of a family member, the end of a relationship, struggling to cope with this rapid, all-encompassing confusion.
At both ends of the spectrum, finding a firm anchor for our sense of purpose and our conception of self can seem elusive. Where do we place our trust for the future? Ironically, the surest footing we can find lies within change itself. It’s said so often that it risks becoming a cliché, yet it is undoubtedly true that change is life’s only constant. Wherever we find ourselves in life, however fixed the world around us seems to be, we know deep down that eventually things will shift and transform, for better or worse.
The wisdom of change invites us to live every day with the knowledge that change is inevitable. The only way out of a situation is through it – we have to live, to participate in the change that is occurring. Maybe that means putting our shoulder to the wheel of social progress, or learning to accept that our present unhappiness cannot last, vowing to carry on and not give in. Life is about processes of becoming; no matter how fixed something appears to be, nothing is ever set in stone. By aligning ourselves with this principle, not investing too much import into fixed notions of our self or our ‘perfect’ life, we put our trust in change.