Very few of us are completely happy with our lives, our careers, or our financial situation. And because we aren’t completely happy we strive to improve – improve our situation, improve our finances, improve ourselves.
And yet, most of us struggle with the very changes we are looking to make. Why?
Clinging to the illusion of stability
Despite our deep desire to evolve, we also want stability in our lives: a stable income, a stable home life, a stable routine. We want our health to be stable, and not to suffer from injury, depression or illness. We also want the people in our lives to be stable, dependable, solid, and not get sick or die. We want our relationships to be stable, trustworthy, honest. Our conscious minds are well aware that achieving every one of our desires is impossible, but we want it anyway – stability.
Yet we might as well grasp for the wind – complete stability in our lives does not exist. And even if it did would we really want it?
Close your eye for a second. Now imagine yourself sticking to your perfect routine, which never changes, for five years. Could you do it? I think most of us would say no. So why is that? Why can’t we stick to a plan that we’ve created and called perfection?
Our minds are ever changing, ever reacting to the world around us and to situations that arise, we are complex, fluid. It is nigh on impossible for us to completely shape ourselves – we might as well try to shape the wind.
And yet we still yearn for stability. We grasp for it, despite our fluidity. We plan our progress, but we will never stay completely true to this plan – no matter how perfect it may be. We will blow around within the concrete form we have created, seeking the cracks, seeking escape.
And every other person is just as fluid as we are. They can’t help but let us down, because they too are battling with their own stability.
When we realise that nothing is the way we want it to be, not even ourselves – we struggle. We get angry, anxious, sad, frustrated or feel afraid.
Let go of stability and embrace fluidity
How do we let go of the our fears and anxieties in a world that is as fluid as the wind? Can we ever improve, evolve?
Start by accepting that it’s OK to be fluid, fluidity is what keeps our lives interesting, keeps our minds open to new things. So don’t fight your own fluidity; use it.
- Embrace the breeze. Take a long look at your fears, your pain, your disappointment. See their nature, investigate them. Ask yourself if these feelings are substantiated, or if they are the manifestation of unrealistic desires.
- Forge your path, but be blown by curiosity. Choosing a path in life and sticking can be successful. But if that path has become jaded and boring you may be staying on it because of your desire for stability. It’s OK to change paths in life. Sure you have to take your situation into consideration, we all have responsibilities. But allow yourself to float on the breeze, even if it’s only occasionally: try a new path during a holiday, ask to job swap, take a sabbatical and work somewhere new. Who knows where a new path will lead.
- Know that the wind will find the cracks. No matter how solidly we build our lives, no matter how bombproof our plans, the unexpected is always around the corner. By understanding that even the best laid plans are subject to the rules of fluidity, we can adapt them.
When we plan to change and we fail, we sometimes fail because of fluidity. It could be the fluidity of others, it could be our own. Whenever you are struggling, take a step back and ask yourself if you are grasping for a stability that is out of reach – and if the very thing you are reaching for is going to help you achieve the changes you are trying to implement in your life.
Because that negative feeling you are experiencing right now – it is merely wind. And wind, even if it’s gale force, moves on. It is simply passing through your life.