Chaos: Resisting change
Have you ever heard yourself say, “Today was just perfect. Wouldn’t it be nice if every day was like this one?” In other words, “can’t things just stay the same?” I get that. Isn’t there some way we can bottle the happiness that we experience every now and then? We know this isn’t possible, but the question reveals something about ourselves: Our resistance to change.
We have this fantasy that we can stop the sun and the moon in its orbit; everything frozen in time. Perfect. Forever. But it’s a fantasy because change is inevitable. The only constant is change. And the more we become attached or entrenched in this fantasy about “the perfect day” the more resistant we become to change. And so, our lives continue to evolve.
The flip side to this is, of course, the fact that we are able to change for the good. If change never took place nothing would grow. You would cease to exist because the cells of the fertilized egg inside your mother’s womb failed to divide forming you into a tiny fetus. If change suddenly stopped, our brains would stop growing and we would remain physically and mentally retarded. (It would appear that some have gone that route!) If we never evolved we would still be living in caves. There’d be no fire; no one would have invented the wheel; we’d be doing math problems with sticks!
By now you’re probably wondering what I mean when I talk about resisting: Resisting responsibility, resisting change. We do it so automatically we are not even aware that we’re doing it. We tend to argue, to protest when things don’t go the way we want them to go. This is resistance. Or we can shut down and ‘resign’ ourselves to what is. This is another way we resist.
Let’s say something happens to us that challenges our happiness. Perhaps the government has ruled that your income taxes are going up this year. Maybe your daughter has just informed you that she’s pregnant and plans to move back home. Or you’ve planned to go on a picnic that day and it’s pouring rain.
Are these circumstances that you can control? I rather doubt it. But you don’t want them to happen. So naturally you resist. How? Well, in the case of the government ruling about your taxes, you can resist by planning to cheat on your tax return. You can resist the situation with your daughter by trying to convince her that she needs to get an abortion in order to hide this “unfortunate tragedy.” Resisting something like a rainy day could simply involve pouting and complaining, spending the day in a foul mood.
Since it is the natural order for things to change and evolve, if we resist we suffer. How so? Through chaos.
Tomorrow – Chaos: Resisting change (part 2)