Have you ever noticed how the stiffest trees are the ones that crack the easiest, whereas bamboo and willow survive by bending with the wind? The same principle applies to humans. When we are rigid and stuck in the past, we are more likely to “crack” under pressure from the winds of change.
The only constant in existence is change. If we resist that change, we will become angry, afraid, and a whole slew of self-destructive emotions. Being rigid in a world that shows that everything is flexible and changing is a recipe for disaster. We cannot stop change, but we can adapt to it. We will have an easier time living life when we accept that change happens and that we can make the most of where we are right now.
There are two primary mindsets people have: being afraid of change and being courageous in spite of change. Fear tethers us to what we feel comfortable in. Courage opens us up to opportunities that may lie in the future-present, regardless of what changes occur. Even every crisis or problem can become an opportunity for our personal and collection evolution.
Appreciate the Past, But Move On
Reliving “glory days” within our minds may make us feel comfortable, but those nostalgic rose-colored glasses looking into the past will keep us stuck in the past, unable to flower into the thousand-petaled lotus we can become. Our past is there for us to learn from, not live in. We should avoid allowing our past to control our present. We should move on and create a new story.
People sometimes look to the past with disdain, rather than fondness, yet they still choose to stay and live there. People who are obsessed about something like World War II, or the Cold War, who may have lived through traumatic experiences during those years, may have anger towards the past they are still carrying in their hearts. However, the more you hold onto that anger, the less capable you are of loving in the present. This can alienate us from others, as well as ourselves.
So how do you overcome that rigidity? For one, any time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask yourself this: do you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future?
You’re steering the ship; it’s in your hands. You can decide on whether to keep living in a constricted way or expanding. What choice are you making?
The past does not have to dictate your future. If you see the direction of something that is happening in the world that you don’t like, you don’t have to fight it, ignore it, or try to hide in the past. You can be be a lighthouse in the world of someone who has an open heart and will help, through radiating out love and compassion, to do their part in easing the suffering caused by what you find distressing. We are not as powerless to alter the future present as we may sometimes believe we are.
The world is changing and it will continue to change. We will like some changes and not others. We are unable to control the course of everything and see the world manifested in the unique ideal way we believe it should be. However, we can be the unique ideal version of ourselves. That is something completely within our control and the most assured way that we will bend with the winds of change instead of cracking from the pressure.