“It is a paradox of therapy that although impermanence is one of the fundamental laws of the universe, most people do not want to change. They hold fast to their ideas of themselves, to their interpretations of how things are, to their grievances, their anxieties, their identities, and their pain.” -Mark Epstein
This is one of those things that is so much easier to see in others than in yourself. It’s easy for me to see the ways my patients resist change. I often find myself captivated by the extent to which a person will hold on to the very things that are making them miserable.
It’s painful to watch those you love hold fast to that which is destroying them. And the paradox is, it’s way too hard, if not impossible, to effect change in a system you’re an integral part of. In other words, don’t turn those you love into a project. Ever.
It takes me a bit more time to recognize the ways in which I battle impermanence. It’s difficult to let old stories go, and it’s painful to realize that you’ve been holding onto ideas of yourself that do nothing but keep you small.
I find the words of Dan Gilbert helpful “We feel like the present is a magical time, in which we finally become ourselves. Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished. The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting, and as temporary as all the people you’ve ever been. The one constant in our life is change….”
Let yourself not be finished.
Or, as Rumi puts it:
Very little grows on jagged rock.
Be ground. Be crumbled,
so wildflowers will come up
where you are.
You’ve been stony for too many years.
Try something different.