Let Each Moment Be New
When we feel stressed we go around and around in circles, trying to make things work out according to our expectations, according to the way things have always been.
Most of us live with the incredible idea that everything will and should stay the same. We cling to this notion for dear life and are continually surprised when the things we love leave. But wonderful relationships fade, our body changes, people behave in unexpected ways, and our fortunes fluctuate. Each day and each moment are always new.
When Change Takes Place
When change takes place many even feel insulted or betrayed. “How can this be happening to me?” they wonder. Others feel victimized by change. It’s as if change is living proof that they are failures. They have “failed” to hold everything together, to keep things the same. They have “failed” to have their expectations realized, expectations that did not factor in the inevitable process of change.
The Repetition Compulsion
The repetition compulsion is the unconscious compulsion to repeat events or relationships that, in the past, were painful or traumatic. Events we never came to terms with. When the repetition compulsion is operating, you automatically and unconsciously draw the same situation to yourself, or relive the same relationship over and over again. Deep inside, you want it to turn out differently “this time.” Usually, it doesn’t. But there is a way of relieving stress, by letting each day be new
The Situation Can’t Be Different Until You’re Different
The situation can’t turn out differently, however, because you aren’t different; you are simply repeating the same old responses. Change has not taken place; the rigidity of old patterns, beliefs, and expectations rule the day[H1] . When we are caught in the grip of the repetition compulsion, most of us become more and more distressed each time a situation or relationship is repeated and nothing different takes place.
Waiting For A Sweet One
A man was eating sour pickles, and each time he bit into one, it was so sour it caused him to cry. He made a terrible face. His friend came by and saw him doing this.
“Why do you keep eating one sour pickle after another?” the friend asked.
“Because I’m waiting for a sweet one,” the man said.
Like all of us, this man was doing the very same thing, over and over, hoping that what was bitter would suddenly turn sweet. We, too, keep experiencing bitterness rather than trying something else, finding a different kind of food. Letting each bite be different. This man, eating the pickles, was caught in the repetition compulsion. He had become rigid, a prisoner of fear.
Plunging Into The Whirl I Came Out With The Swirl
A Taoist story tells of an old man who accidentally fell into the river rapids leading to a dangerous waterfall. Onlookers feared for his life. Miraculously, he came out alive and unharmed downstream, at the bottom of the falls. People asked him how he managed to survive.
He replied: “I accommodated myself to the water, not the water to me. Without thinking, I allowed myself to be shaped by it. Plunging into the whirl, I came out with the swirl. This is how I survived.”
This is a wonderful say to eliminate the stress that comes with change. Instead of fighting it,
hating or resisting it, experience it fully, stop resisting it, enjoy the ride.
"Of all things, the most yielding can overcome the most strong."
—Tao Te Ching
You Cannot Step into the Same River Twice
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “You cannot step into the same river twice.” The next moment you step into the river, not only is the river different, but you are different as well. Your body temperature has changed; your mood, the moment. Your cells are different, your thoughts, feelings, your understanding. You have been impacted by all that has happened to you.
The river, too, has undergone changes: It has washed over rocks, swished the underbrush, tossed different fish inside it. Everything has altered the flowing stream. The river is different and so are you. How beautiful and thrilling.
However, many of us do not feel that change is beautiful and thrilling. We find it frightening, resist it, and do all we can to block it out. We set up dams to hold it back, using rigid beliefs and ideas to contain the flow. This is what causes the stress, not the changes we go through.
If Not For the Process of Constant Change, No Growth Would Be Possible
But if not for the process of constant change, no growth would be possible. Your experience of yourself and others could not deepen. You even would not be able to tell the difference between childish infatuation and real love. Without change, a child could not go from sitting to crawling, and then from crawling to walking. He would remain an infant forever. His life would not be fulfilled. Change is your friend. Change is a gift. It is crucial to learn to see it that way.
Change Is Not Loss: It Is Change.
“Dwelling as change itself brings peace.”
Most of us resist change because it feels like loss. But change is not loss, it is simply change; it is inevitable, healthy, and necessary. Rather than seeing change as bringing new life and growth, it’s easy to see it as a villain, taking something you’ve loved away.
Look and See:
What is it that you are holding on to right now? What do you refuse to let go of? You might not have even realized how hard you’ve been grasping it, or repeating the same situation again and again, eating a sour pickle over and over, waiting for a sweet one.
Stop all that now, even for a few moments. Let Each Moment Be Brand New. Taste Whatever It Is You Are Eating and Let it Taste As It Does.
When we fully accept change as natural, flow with its force, what was once stress turns into joy and aliveness.
[H1]this is now grammatically correct ("the rigidity" is the subject), but it's awkward. Please rewrite so the subject-verb agreement is more obvious to the reader.