Embrace The Mess

circa 2011

circa 2011

I did not intend for this post to be a continuation of yesterday’s but when Amy climbed the stairs into the choir loft and said, “I don’t do change very well,” I laughed. It was word-for-word the same phrase that Kerri had just spoken.

For some reason, we’ve come to expect change to be comfortable and breezy. We expect ourselves to be paragons of reason in the face of imbalance. I find this ridiculous expectation of centered-off-centeredness to be suspiciously corporate. Apparently all change needs management and if it is not managed smoothly and without feeling or emotion then it is not well done.

Emotion is messy. Change is hard. The seed cracks before the tender shoot finds its way to the sun. The seed needs to crack in order for the new form to emerge. Hearts are broken, like seeds, to allow new forms to emerge. Even the “right” relationship is dynamic, messy, surprising, joyful, disappointing, filled with fear, the heights of elation, tenderness, quiet, and at the core is this volatile thing called love. Love burns hot during transformation; love is snuffed when excessively managed. Love is transformative when not unduly controlled.

Everyone does change well because change is the nature of our existence. Energy is always in motion. If humans are expert at anything it is change. We do change well because we can’t avoid it. What we do not do well is afford ourselves the grace of feeling the grief, the insecurity, the frustration, the anger, the joy, the exhilaration, and the dizziness that comes with change. We limit our emotional color palate when we confuse change with control. We do not allow ourselves the mess, the unpredictability, and the loss of balance that necessarily comes with this rolling vibrant transformation called life.

Amy would have been more accurate had she said, “I don’t do control very well.” I didn’t tell her the secret: no one who experiences the fullness of life does control well. In the face of her messy, volatile, change process, she wouldn’t have appreciated my counterpoint. When someone is standing in the middle of the muck it is cold comfort to tell them that they are in the right spot. So, I simply laughed, nodded my head, and said, ‘I know….”

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