“The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.”
Change occurs whether we like it or not. When we step back and take a true look at the world, it is not a static picture that we see. Instead, we see a world that is ever-evolving and in constant motion, and unless we learn to evolve with it, we will become isolated from progress like an artifact frozen in time.
One of the keys to managing emotional health lies within our ability to accept change – acceptance of the fact that change HAS occurred, and that change WILL occur. Inability to accept the inevitability of change will lead to an emotionally challenged existence.
This is not to say that we are passive “victims” of change. Though we cannot control external causes, we can certainly manage our responses to them. The world stops for no one – and change will occur with our without our endorsement. Therefore, it is better to find a way to embrace change than to resist it.
Bamboo has long been regarded as a symbol of longevity and resilience – and certainly for good reason. It stays evergreen throughout the four seasons, even during harsh winter months. Additionally, it is known for its ability to bend without breaking, resiliently swaying with the direction of changing winds. In fact, bamboo is so resilient that architects and engineers have long had an interest in designing earthquake-resistant bamboo structures
, utilizing its natural resilience.
Accepting change is about staying in the “here and now.” When we refuse to accept change, we are expressing a wish to remain in an idealized past that no longer exists; it is the obstinate non-acceptance of an inevitable unfolding reality. In other words, it is a rejection of a key element of life’s essence. Essentially, as situations change, we face a changed reality that we must find a way to accept. Otherwise, we run the risk of living in the past, which is outside of what has now become reality. Therefore, like the bamboo, we have the options to either bend with change (which is inevitable), or be broken by it and left behind
One important point to consider is that change always makes way for something new or different. Endings lead to beginnings. So, within change, there is always an opportunitiy waiting to be uncovered. Resistance to change will create stagnation by the simple fact that we separate ourselves from the opportunities that are inherent in change. Therefore, as we emerge from any situation, we should ready ourselves for the next.
“The world is full of movement
bathing us in change.”
The natural world that surrounds us is moving; nothing stays the same. We see evidence of this as we observe natural life cycles, the changing of seasons, rising and setting of the sun, and the changing landscape of the earth’s surface. Since we don’t exist in a vacuüm, humans are not exempt. In the same way that the world does not create a static picture, there are no static images staring back as we look in the mirror.
As with the physical universe, intangible beliefs and ideas are also affected by change. New discoveries will challenge our accepted ideas, which could possibly lead to shifts in our personal worldview. Of course there are those inner truths to which we will hold steadfast. However, we shouldn’t be so rigid that we hinder personal development. Moreover, it is illogical to reject a discovery that has exposed a hole in personal logic.
What’s the lesson here?
I believe inspiration can be found in all things, and the ever-changing universe is an awe-inspiring example. Change is natural – and inevitable. It’s a fact that we should acknowledge and accept as part of our life plan.
I can’t think of a better way to illustrate the constant motion of our universe than through the art of time-lapse cinematography. As you watch “Mountain Light,” consider the inevitable nature of change and how our resistance to it is truly futile.
(To see more award-winning time-lapse photography from Tom Lowe, visit Timescapes.org and Vimeo.)
How do you normally react to change? Do you see distress – or opportunity?
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