Learn to let go

Life is change and I don’t like change. I like to have things stay like they are—the same people, the same furniture, the same institutions, the same vacation spots, the same stores.
As a girl, there was very little change in my young life. I lived in the same farmhouse until I went off to college. We had the same wonderful neighbours. No one ever moved.
Miss Peck was my teacher throughout grade school, and we had the same ministers ordained for life. One was my uncle, two were my father’s cousins, and the bishop was my great-uncle.
Extended family was very important to me.
And I could count on the stores in Lowville, the village where we shopped. When I needed shoes, Cohen’s Shoe Store would be there. When I needed school supplies, there was Springfield’s and Ben Franklin’s.
The same was true of the A&P. They all were there in their regular spaces in the village square. They never moved, they rarely rearranged their merchandise, and they never failed.
But that was a long time ago. That was then and this is now–the 21st century, a time when nothing stays the same. A time when technology is changing the very world we thought we knew.
I suspect most people have some aversion to change with varying degrees–some less, some more. I’m on the complete end of the continuum. I don’t want change!
But the problem is, life is change. So whether you like it or not, change is what you must expect. And in 2014, the pace of change is always accelerating–faster and faster it goes.
So, like it or not, we must learn to deal with all this change.
Half-a-century ago, then-U.S. president John F. Kennedy warned us, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
And who wants to miss the future, of all things!
That reminds me of what one young woman I know said recently when speaking of rapid change. She remarked, “The only thing that matters is learning how to let go.”
Letting go of old patterns when it is time and embracing new ones. Teaching yourself how to be flexible–how to bend without breaking. Being willing to compromise, adapting to new institutions and new landscapes.
Obviously, living well in the 21st century requires flexibility. And the longer you live, the more flexible you should become.
You have more life experience to help you make wiser decisions. And as you age, extreme flexibility–both physical and mental–will be needed.
So don’t be afraid to try new and different things–new games, new careers, new friends. And never let it be said that you are inflexible or set in your ways.
Remember, learning how to let go is the most important thing to do, whatever your age.
Psychologist and motivational speaker Steve Maraboli says, “The truth is, unless you let go . . . you cannot move forward.”
So make sure you learn how to let go and embrace the future with enthusiasm!
Marie Snider is an award-winning health writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@cox.net

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