Google the term “change” and you will end up with quotes like……
I believe there is a time for everything. Time changes, and you need to accept that. Else, you stagnate.
Everything changes with time. You can't predict where you're gonna be next year; you have no idea, you know what I mean?
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
And the list goes on.
So, the message is clear and one that I’m thinking we all see more clearly as we age: Change happens. It’s a part of life. It’s probably the only constant we have.
I’m good with that. Sometimes it’s exciting, often uncomfortable, and occasionally scary stuff indeed. But my life has been enriched and let’s face it, a lot more fun since I embraced change rather than treat it like it’s the monster hiding under the bed.
But I’m confused about something. Put two people in a room together—better yet, a bed—and over time we seem to lose our minds and say things like…..
“Don’t try to change me!”
“If you loved me, you’d accept me as I am!”
What’s up with that?? As we get to know each other and are in the rosy glow of lust, we nod and agree and quote beautiful platitudes about the wonder of change. And then, once that shimmer of new love is worn around the edges with some reality, the hammer of “Accept me or else” comes out of the relationship toolbox.
I’ve thought about this a lot lately. Those of you who know me know why and the rest of you can probably guess.
What I’ve come up with so far is this: We do fall in love with the uniqueness of a person. We love their kindness, their wacky humor, their strength in the face of adversity. Those are qualities we glom onto and want to experience more in our own lives. Changing the essence of that person is not something we want anyone to do, much less do it ourselves.
But living in community with another, any other, requires compromise and negotiation, as well as ongoing communication to allow that to happen. When I live alone, it doesn’t matter if I pick up my empty drinking glasses that somehow scatter themselves all over the house until I have no clean glasses left. In living with someone else, that’s just rude. And inconsiderate. A simple request on the part of my significant other is all I need to change it. But it has nothing to do with the essence of my heart; it’s a behavior that I can change in order to be more respectful of someone I profess to care about. And it has nothing to do with changing who I am as an unique child of the universe.
Communicating who I am is a responsibility I also must implicitly agree to as we embark on a life together. If I carry a fear deep in my heart, one that wounded me as a child and I still shudder from today, it’s eventually necessary to share that with my love. Both literally and figuratively. How else can I expect consideration if I don’t communicate it? And true intimacy with another is steeped in sharing the darkest, as well as the most beautiful, corners of our lives.
We are all wounded souls and embracing another means two things in this regard: sharing our wounds, no matter how insignificant they appear to others, and being willing to accommodate the uniqueness of someone’s else’s rips and tears, too. In the safety of love, we accept and accommodate, and that love is thus enriched.
Deep, huh? Not really. It’s not the other person I want to change; sometimes it is behavior living in community that necessitates change in order to honor the other. And that means both people doing the same thing to protect and grow the relationship.
In other words, change.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
while loving someone deeply gives you courage.