Writer’s Island prompt #15 “IF I COULD CHANGE ONE THING”.
What would that be? Nothing. That’s right, I wouldn’t change anything at all. It’s not because I’m afraid of changes, or incapable of them, or don’t occasionally wish things were different, or that change occurred at a more rapid pace, it’s that there would be repercussions that I couldn’t see or even begin to estimate, and some of those would not be on the positive side of the slate.
Changes always bring some form of loss. Always. Loss means grief and we all have enough of that to deal with already. We may not be consciously aware of it, but the majority of us are dealing with some aspect of loss and grief on a fairly consistent basis. Life is always changing, evolving, revolving, and so are we. And with each change, we experience loss of one sort or another because that is what change is all about, letting go of one thing to make room for another.
There are those who love change, seek it out, even chase after it. But, one has to wonder how much they lose in that process of constant change, and what happens when it all catches up to them. There is always that need for balance. Which means, there are also those who can’t, won’t change because of fear and the weight of incalculable things to be considered should change ever take place. And again, there is that issue of loss that happens whether an individual chases after change, or absolutely refuses to embrace it on any level. I have known both and neither are happy or content.
One is far too busy looking for something new to try, while the other is constantly complaining that things never remain the same for any length of time. Both are exhausting and neither is satisfied, therefore both can and do give off an energy that is far from comfortable.
That is not to say that change is good or bad. It can be both, but isn’t. It simply is. And the rate at which we accept that reality fluctuates throughout our existence. Children are born curious, with a need to explore, and a strong desire for new experiences. But eventually they do grow and become idealistic, meaning they see themselves as the original authors of change and the change must occur now.
The idealism is slowly dropped as the individual gets involved in the working through of daily existence and energies are spent just staying alive and somewhat even keeled, if that is possible. Then comes middle-age and a shift toward the inner aspect of life, and for many, that means a lot of personal changes, difficult decisions and choices.
The next stage, that of old age, is another change or shift in perspective. Here the task seems to be acceptance of change as a constant and a desire to leave some sort of legacy to the next generation. When you stop and think about all of that, it’s an incredible amount of change for one individual to deal with in one short life-span.
But that still leaves one major change to deal with. The acceptance of death and the reality that it will occur. Wow, that is a major bummer, certainly the biggest change of all. And it certainly entails that loss and grief I spoke of earlier. And may even account for all those other necessary changes we have encountered. Maybe life itself, is no more than a rehearsal for that ultimate change defined as death. Maybe we need all those changes in order to accept that we are finite creatures and will, someday, no longer be here to change, or be changed.
I can hear the words of that Stevie Nicks song running through my head: I’ve been afraid of changes, cause I built my life around… And right alongside of it is that reality that a butterfly flitting its wings can cause a major disaster on the other side of the globe. Changes always have repercussions. Always.
So where does that leave me? With the reality that change is a major undertaking, and not one to be engaged in lightly. Change is a necessity, it is a big part of life and especially of any growth that takes place in that life. I have said before that I have lived many lives during this one I have been given. That remains true and at the moment, I am finding, discovering, and creating yet another one. I am not afraid of changes, though I do duck on occasion when I see them coming and know they are inevitable. But I don’t fight them.
I used to, and that’s a waste of energy. Energy I need to be able to accept the changes that are occurring, and find my own particular path through them. And that I will do. But, no, I do not wish to be the author of those changes other than for myself. I will also lend my energies toward changes that I see can be beneficial. But to instigate them for anyone else, no. I never want to be that butterfly flitting its wings as it flutters near a flower, bringing a disaster to any part of my world, here, there, or anywhere.
Accepting the constant changes in life, is a personal choice. It is also a freedom. One that entails responsibility as freedom always does. There is an old religious saying about counting the cost before activating a change. I used to think that meant that I must count the cost to my own person. Now, I know that it reaches beyond me and into the rest of the world. All changes have ripple affects no matter how large or small. Those ripples are the repercussions of change. Which simply means, choose change carefully, think it through, and for me, that means on the page.