Written one cold December evening in 2015, but still fitting today.
Tonight as I walked upstairs for the thousandth time and looked at the pictures on the upstairs landing, I stopped in my tracks. You see, I am contemplating a new path and I am afraid of where that will lead me, of who I will be at the end. I know it could lead me to an unfamiliar place and that it has the power to change me. The power to change the very ideas I hold about what and who I am. Powerful stuff and not something I take lightly.
So tonight as I reached the top landing, I glanced over the same family photos and I had a revelation. I am always changing. I am ever growing. And the person I was in each of these photos is far from the person I am now--yet I am not in a single photo.
They are pictures of my children, first my daughter, probably around 3 years old, when we lived in the city and I was younger. We had a completely different lifestyle, a different home, different friends, a different marriage relationship even. I was a different person. Then a photo of my son in a diaper and tee shirt out in the country at our small pond. Again, a different lifestyle, a different home, different friends, and now with 2 kids a different kind of marriage. Next there is a photo of our third and youngest child, our son was probably around 4 or 5 as he attempts to push a giant pumpkin out of the pumpkin patch. I realized this was yet another home, another lifestyle as we had a full on farm, and even then we had different friends, different schools and parents and kids to enter into community with.
I saw each of these photos not as I usually did. Not seeing and remembering each beautiful child, but seeing myself and remembering where I was and who I was when these moments were captured. Then there is the photo with the children and their cousins on the Fourth of July. And again, I have changed. We don't spend that holiday in this country anymore, hardly see the cousins who are now teenagers, and there are a number of new much younger cousins that we don't even have pictures of. At the time this photo was taken, I never imagined it being any different. This is what I wanted my kids to know forever. But forever is slippery.
There is a photo of our little ones on a ski mountain in Colorado with daddy. And I am still not the person I was when that was taken. Luckily, we are still in the same home, the lifestyle isn't that different, the friend groupings have stabilized and so has our marriage, but I have changed immeasurably.
So I ask myself, why fear change? Why do I dupe myself into thinking that life has been stable? Life has ONLY been change. Take a breath. See how far you have come, reflect on the distance not from ego but just from how far away it is from what was desired or imagined at the time. Embrace the different person you are now. A person that you wouldn't even have dreamt of in the first photo of your first child taken so many years ago.
There is a beauty and a grace in the gentle nature of your awakening. Continue it. Just that, continue it. Don't delude yourself into believing in fear of changing. You have always been changing and everyone of your loved ones has hung in there and gone along for the ride. They only know you as a changing evolving being. Don't fear losing them because you are awakening and come home with a new idea or practice or way of being. It is who you are now. So follow that new path, take that role, step into being more YOU. That is what this lifetime is for. That is your only purpose--to become more fully YOU.
You only think you are static dear one, in truth, you are far from it.
With love, respect, and deep awe,