Learn to live with change. If you want to be captain of your life and master of your fate, accept change and adapt to it with a smile.
Life and living are in a constant flux and thus change is constant too. This requires constant adjustments and adaptations. Before birth we are in mother’s womb and constantly getting womb service without any effort from us. The birth introduces us to whole new parameters of living. After the journey from birth canal into this world, we are no more automatically fed through a tube called umbilical cord. Rather in order to get attention from our care giver, we have to cry. We are still weak vulnerable and dependent. Yet all our needs are met just by our innocent smile or a crying sound. This lasts for few months then we start to crawl and still later we take baby steps. Our family members care for our needs. After we learn to talk, we start communicating with words, body language, facial expressions and sounds. There is daily change in our body measurements, our intellectual faculties and our loco motor activities. There are many possibilities, probabilities, choices and threats on daily basis. Yet we learn instinctively to modulate our path through this jigsaw puzzle of daily living and maze of life.
Soon as children we start to spend time away from our primary care giver, and into school we go. There is a lot to explore and learn, brand new stuff. By the time, children walk out of school, their bodies have transformed into adult proportions but their brains lag behind. Their emotional management is still raw and very sensitive to heightened surge of hormones and ever increasing number of neuronal connections between memories of past experiences in hippocampus, alarm system of amygdala, emotional limbic system and logical frontal lobe. It can be described as a roller coaster ride at the best. We are genetically predisposed to certain patterns of thinking and on top of it nurture, that is, environment and interactions with people fill us up with unique circuitry in our brain. Our beliefs, emotions and memories formulate and our behaviour manifests which give rise to our character and personalities. This metamorphosis continues after school graduation. College and university offer newer experiences to us not only in educational pursuits but also in relationship building. We develop new friendships and even adversaries. Not all goes well, we gain a lot and lose some from daily grind of life: Yet the change doesn’t necessarily bring all the best stuff in us. We may go through certain negative experiences of mistrust, shame, self-doubt, projected upon us by others. Our nature is our genetics and nurture is environmental influences of people and circumstances and events, they have long lasting indelible marks on our psyche and habits. Our belief, our thoughts, our interpretations of interpersonal interactions, language and communication skills all change us constantly. Life process is a great sculptor and we are shaped by it, slowly but surely. We become the animated mannequin with a label stuck on us by society. Label is our name and our vocation. We start to believe that is who we are & that is all we are, how happy or comfortable we will be is determined by our choices and that shapes our destiny.
Nothing is constant except change. There are lifelong sweet moments, cherished memories, valuable knowledge, lessons, and precious friends and associates. On the other side of the spectrum, there could be uncertainties, ambiguities, outright trauma, losses, and breakups. Such negative changes are as much part of life as positive ones are. But we usually are trained and instructed to avoid pain. It’s a good survival instinct to minimize or outright avoid imminent danger. Yet in order to be a worthy person one has to face adversities of life with a brave face and equip oneself with the newest and latest skills. Life is always changing, and various stages of life are unfolding. Every 10 years, a decade, there is a huge change in our outlook. All fine domains of life, physical, mental, social, spiritual, and our academic or work lives, all are overhanled. We enter the professional workforce and many years down the line, we slow down to private life at home. We age and retire. Our body is weakened. Some of us enter ripe old age and we start to fall apart. Finally, we are shriveled and death over powers us. One thing common to us all is the change that we go through daily, it’s not readily visible but over decades, change in ourselves and our other contemporaries is looming large. We cannot defy the laws of aging unless one shifts out of the earth into the frontiers of space.
So my emphasis in this blog is on the Shakespeare’s “Seven Ages of man”. Those of us who are well adjusted in each part and phase of life are well adjusted individuals with good brain and mental health. Hence it’s deduced that without a balanced comprehensive life style where we not only connect with people but also pray, visualize with our five senses, search deep within our soul through meditation with humility without impunity. Life is the best teacher and changes us for better or worse till our epilogue is written. We started as a spec and we tend to end as a spec of dust, in between we go through a change, well adapted we thrive, maladapted we suffer, come what may we perish in the end and true legend remains. The legend is our soul indomitable and transcending energy reaching back to its essence.
Dr. Ajaz Qureshi,
MBBS, Mental Health & Wellness Therapist, Willing Ways the best Addiction Treatment Center in Lahore.