Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”
— Frida Kahlo
Ask yourself honestly: are you looking for a steady, predictable life? Is this what you want? If so, you must realize that the world cannot offer you this. Everything in the world is in the process of change. Nothing is steady. Nothing is predictable. Nothing will give you anything other than temporary security. Thoughts come and go. Relationships begin and end. Bodies are born and pass away. This is all the world can offer you: impermanence, growth, change.”
— Paul Ferrini (via swissmiss)
“She wept for herself and the changes that had been wrought in her, because sometimes even change for the better felt like a little death.”
— Cassandra Clare, City of Heavenly Fire
It’s easy to grow content—happy even—with a life that, though we know isn’t all we deserve or are capable of, is at least predictable and safe. We know things could be better, but things could always be worse too, and any step outside of our comfort zone risks the latter as much as the former.
We imagine we can stand still instead. We think we can keep things exactly as they are forever, but the reality is change can’t be warded off or defended against. It will always come for you and if it must come it’s better it comes on your terms, by your design, and with your true happiness in mind—as much as is possible anyway.
It’s time to grow again, to challenge yourself again, to start planning, building, and living the life you really want. It’s time you get comfortable with being uncomfortable about life getting better and better and better.
“How do we prevent and stop violence and harm without creating more violence and harm? How do we transform a society in which harm is endemic to build a culture where violence becomes unthinkable? How can small everyday acts of accountability and relationship building lead to a broad cultural shift away from harm?”
The old world is dying and the new world struggles to be born. Now is the time of monsters.”
— Antonio Gramsci/Slavoj Žižek (via Dense Discovery)
To begin a process of contemplation, one must begin with these four premises. They are self-explanatory.
- Life happens in the present, so you don’t have a minute to waste.
- The past was meant to be learned from, not to be re-lived in the present. Regrets are useless because you can’t go back and remake the past.
- All your experiences and people in your life, whether you see them as good or bad, helped shape who you are today.
- You are the only one responsible for changing your current life to the one you want.
“We ask, typically and acutely, when we’re in a relationship with someone who is inflicting a great deal of pain on us: someone who is refusing to open their hearts or can never stop lying, someone who is aggressive or detached, someone who is harming themselves or managing to devastate us. We ask too because the one immediately obvious response to frustration isn’t in this case open to us: we’re not able to simply get up and go, we are too emotionally or practically invested to give up, something roots us to the spot. And so, with the example of one troublesome human in mind, we start to wonder outwards about human nature in general, what it might be made of and how malleable it could turn out to be.
One thing is likely already to be evident to us: even if people can change, they certainly don’t change easily. Maybe they flare up every time we raise an issue and accuse us of being cruel or dogmatic; maybe they break down late at night and admit they have a problem but by morning, vehemently deny that there could ever be anything amiss. Maybe they say yes they get it now, but then don’t ever deploy understanding where it really matters. We can at best conclude that by the time we’ve had to raise the question of change in our minds, someone around us has managed not to change either very straightforwardly or very gracefully.
We might ask a prior question: is it even OK to want someone to change? The implication from those who generate trouble for us is, most often, an indignant ‘no’. ‘Love me for who I am’ is their mantra. But considered more imaginatively, only a perfect human would ever deny that they might need to grow a little in order more richly to deserve the love of another. For the rest of us, all moderately well-meaning and half-way decent requests for change should be heard with goodwill and in certain cases acted upon with immense seriousness. Those who bristle at the suggestion that they might need to change are—paradoxically—giving off the clearest evidence that they may be in grave need of inner evolution.”