Taoism and Unavoidable Change

When I look back at certain historical times of pleasure – be it joyful or just interesting, hopeful, or filled with vitality – I sometimes think to re-create this time. I may try to gather all the variables of that era and place them back together. I want it to be just like it was, for there was comfort and wonder in that time, and the nostalgia warms my heart!

Yet, I have learned that we cannot turn back the clock entirely. The same people with their individual qualities are no longer available. The old familiar setting would not be accessible. The earnestness with which we gathered cannot be replicated, nor forced. It had originally come to us as all unexpected wonders do – most naturally!

No, indeed, I cannot copy and paste then into now.

How sad.

But wait! This does not have to be a tragedy. This memory is rich with soulful emotion, but there might be something I have not considered. It might be true that I have lost something beautiful. But it could also be true that something else just as lovely can still occur. Something different but just as good. Something strange and unexpected but equally wonderful. Something more in place of what seemed plenty. If I stop worshipping how it used to be, and I begin to imagine what else might form, what fits into the new version of myself, what fantastic possibilities exist, then I have awakened to a state of mind most precious to the way of the Tao.

The Tao asks us to roll with it, and by “it”, I mean nature. NATURE is always changing, evolving, transforming, and those most content with life will accept the shifts, upsets, and regrowth of our natural world. For it is not all that pleasant to sit around wishing things were the way they used to be. We can be grateful for the past, its beauty and its lessons, and still recognize that we are not meant to be static. We are meant to always be morphing. I will not be afraid. Surely, to have faith is to trust that change should not presume catastrophe, nor should we deny the power of change and the shape of potential improvement.

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