Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Capacity for Change

It has been a beautiful day. I had been thinking this over for the past week, just observing how frequently people rely on "who they are" to explain away behavior. No, don't worry, it wasn't you. I was watching reality television. I think that where we have been and our environment are good explanations for our tendencies, but I wish people could see change as liberating, not scary. If something isn't working, its a fantastic thing that we can just say- well, I guess I will just try something else. I mean, this woman has been yelling at her daughter for five years, and her beautiful, capable, intelligent daughter is still on the street looking for love and escape in all the wrong places. Clearly, the yelling isn't working. This poor exhausted woman just doesn't think she can stop.

Sometimes the changes we most need to make can seem the most impossible. Deciding to stop accepting financial support from family and striking out on your own, for example, can feel so overwhelming. People who understand bank accounts, taxes and budgets can assume that everyone is taught this growing up, but thats not the case. All of the unknowns can make a simple situation feel unattainable.

Deciding that you actually don't know how you feel about someone; deciding that you are going to stop repeating the same routine and actually get to know them. That is incredible. You could wander through the rest of your time with a person and never see the impact they have on you. To be able to stop in the middle of a relationship that is on a treadmill and contemplate that you might be wrong- about everything you have told yourself so far- and start over? It's liberating! It's exciting! It's inspiring! It's admirable.

It is so scary to take away all the rules and the false sense of control, and just fly. Attempting to let life happen to you and take responsibility for your part in it. What you say and what you do, those are choices, and they belong to you. I find it exciting, that you can choose to completely reform your way of life. A control freak pessimist can decide to work at becoming a laid back optimist. It is totally possible. Its all possible. We are all making this up as we go along.

I think this is one of my favorite things about Scott, and one of the reasons that I felt so strongly that we could make a marriage last. We both have confidence in our ability to change and adapt to life as it comes. We struggle with change, and work at it. But we believe, and it shows.

Change is such a beautiful concept. We cannot control our world and the people in it, that is true; but we can flip our own script, and become someone entirely new as life goes by around us. Hopefully this new person has a greater insight into themselves, more compassion, acceptance and conviction. Regardless of what has changed, even if nobody has noticed but us, our ability to do so is a gift and our doorway to freedom. 

Having children is a big change, and I feel surrounded by decisions to make all day long. Trying to remember how far we have come, and that I can release all of the goals and ideas I had before we had Ben, and adopt new ones, helps me feel fresh and flexible every day.

I have to remind myself daily that with new information comes greater understanding. The decisions I made and the objectives I set at that time were not flawed simply because I didn't know then what I know today. New information is the green light, to rip out yesterday's page and start again at the top.

I love people, and their ability to grow and stretch and challenge themselves. I love knowing that I have that inside myself, too.

Today was a beautiful day for big, huge, glass-shattering changes, and it makes me feel like celebrating, so this is me celebrating with you. Cheers to a crisp sheet of blank paper, to the smell of new, to tearing away the old dusty parts and polishing up a whole new creation. Spring is really here!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Cheers! Here's to celebrating change.

  3. Love this Mary! So true. So true.

  4. words of wisdom and inspiration my dear! one foot in front of the other and a small slice of humble pie to keep chugging along!

  5. god, this makes me want to cry. how beautifully written! and true :)