Is any man so foolish as to fear change, to which all things that once were not owe their being?
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations (Seventh Book, XV.)
It’s important to contemplate new ideas, so I’ll be writing reflections on teachings I gather from Meditations. I’ve been reading the book over the course of a year now, and still gather asymmetric amounts of value.
His passage is extremely profound and highlights the deep integration of change in nature and the universe. He suggests that everything valuable in life is a direct result of change. The nourishment we gather from food is a result of it changing in our digestive system. The comfort we get from a hot bath is the result of the water being heated (changed from cold).
Our lives are meaningful because we eventually change and converge towards death.
I believe I understand that change is both necessary and omnipresent, but still tend to display discomfort to change.
I know my Grandmother will one day change from living to dead, but it’s uncomfortable for me. I know my Mom will one day change from living to dead but it is uncomfortable. My relationship status changed from committed to single and this was (and is) uncomfortable for me.
As I’ve now been reminded, change is aligned with the natural progression of life. To fight change is to create a large and immovable enemy in your life.
To improve my ability to stay in stride with change I believe I should:
These two things combined provide a fabric to integrate with the change as opposed to running away from it. Surprisingly, I’ve yet to adjust myself to much of the change that’s occurred in the last two years; I think this will be immensely helpful.