Jay and I have a saying, “This is our new normal.”
It’s something we’ve used throughout our entire relationship. Every shift, every knock, every painful challenge, every span of peace, we often refer to our feelings of “the new normal.”
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with the statement of “The only constant in life is change” and we obviously agree with him.
We come into this world and we learn and grow at such an amazing pace. We learn to walk, talk, feed ourselves, count, read, reason; the list goes on and on. Throughout our growth, our parents witness our constant state of change and experience them right along with us often marveling at our accomplishments.
We eventually start school and our knowledge continues to expand while our bodies and understanding of our place in the world swirls and shifts. We learn how to throw a ball, ride a bike, play sports, navigate relationships and discover our own personal brand of being.
We move into High School and learn more about independence, the importance of friendships, time management, employment, driving a car, income, a job, and spending. The immensity of the question “What do I want to be?” barrels towards us while the world around us changes about as much as we do…and we continue to explore our reality.
Then it’s time to leave the nest. We are faced with “adulting.” Be it trade school, college, church service, traveling the world, backpacking through Europe, getting married; we search for direction and meaning.
And eventually we “settle down.” We find a place to plant our roots and attempt to thrive in the soil we’ve chosen. And this is where the changes feel more challenging.
See, up until now we’ve been “going with the flow” and in so doing we’ve embraced the changes pushing upon us. It’s almost been a fun ride experiencing all the new adventures. We’ve had a safety net, so to speak, while we navigated all the new transitions life brought to us. Some were wonderful and stay with us as fond memories. Others leave us a bit scarred and wary in future decisions.
I look back and see how each of my choices has led to this point in life. How I chose to deal with one issue altered my course in life as did the next one and the next one and the next. Sometimes I’ve embraced the changes and laughed as I said, “Just getting used to the new normal.” Other times I’ve said, “It’s OK. This is just the new normal and then we’ll move on to a new one.” as a way to comfort myself in the knowledge that everything is temporary.
The beautiful thing about change being constant is nothing is permanent. The way I am today does not have to be the way I am tomorrow. The stress and upset I may feel today could be lighter tomorrow. (The MANY challenges of COVID come to mind as I write.) I can make a conscious choice to process the heavy emotion. Or perhaps some introspection and self-care can get me through to the next healing step. Phone a friend or take a hike. What can I do to give myself compassion in pain, permission to feel, and understanding to heal?
See the silver lining.
I’ve had a couple of friends share with me the notion of “Can it get any better?” It’s a question to ask all the time. When times are challenging ask, “How can it get any better?” Inevitably you’ll have a thought or insight on how to improve the situation and lighten things up. Or perhaps they will just shift naturally as you acknowledge the temporary nature of the moment.
You can ask the same question when things are amazing and just “clicking.” “How can it get better than this?” In this vein, you’re doing two things:
1. Acknowledging how wonderful life is and the gifts you‘ve been given while expressing awe and gratitude.
2. Challenging yourself/ the Universe/ your Higher Power to make it even better with the next change. Daring yourself to find the gift and silver lining in the next shift of life.
Covid sucks. Like everyone I pray it finds a speedy resolution. I am also grateful for the lessons it has taught me. By pulling back and seeking refuge I have found more of myself which has brought me to this “New Normal”.
Right now, when I ask the question, ” Can it get better than this?” The answer is a resounding, “YES! It can.”
What changes have you seen, what would you like to see, and can you see a path to get there?
Embracing Heraclitus’ concept means we can find peace in the temporary pain and look forward to more joy, peace, and unity.
I pray your “New Normal” finds blooms and beauty which leaves you asking “Can it get better than this?”
“The only constant in life is change.” – Heraclitus