No man ever steps in the same river twice for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” — Heraclitus
We talk about change as though it’s something that happens once in a while, we’re “going through a period of change,” as though it isn’t happening all of the time.
Change is always happening, but we aren’t always able to sense it. If we were conscious of everything that was changing around us all of the time, there would be no stasis, no sense of balance of calm or stability, getting your footing, and perhaps it would feel as though nothing was worth planning, nothing was worth holding on to, because everything’s changing all of the time.
So I wonder to what extent our inability to sense the ever-present change around us is really a survival mechanism.
Yet when we come to realize that everything is changing all of the time, it frees us to behave in new ways, it frees us to take risks and experiment, and it lightens the load quite a bit.
When you accept that everything is changing and that you have absolutely no control over it, finally, you’re able to release and be a part of that flow. You can change constantly, all of the time, and maybe you can become more aware of your changes and not try to force permanence on your life.
I think it’s the desire for permanence that gets in our way and causes a lot of our suffering.
An excerpt from my dialogue with Paul McAleer on our podcast Designing Yourself, Episode #7: Nothing Lasts (originally aired September 3, 2013), with minimal editing for readability.