Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Life is change, right? That's what they say. In Chinese medicine it is believed that change is so intrinsic to being human, if nothing changes, disease will result. It's interesting to think about. People who sit around all day become lethargic and unable to move even if they decide to do so. Neuroscientists believe if we think the same thoughts, follow the same routes and do the same work every day, our brains will lose plasticity. Neuroscientists are on board now with Chinese medicine. That makes me smile.
Some people make changes because they can't sit still for five minutes. I'm talking about a hefty percentage of the relentless go-getters and ambitious citizens of the District. I know DC isn't the only place where people get into a loop of go-go-go. Impatience is a sign of anxiety. It's not balanced and is not what the neuroscientists are talking about.
I'm a creature of habit and yet I tilt into change, at least I did earlier in life. Not so much an adventurer, I think one of the reasons I was always moving to a new city or starting a new career or shifting relationships when I was younger is because I didn't have an ability to tolerate sameness. I learned tolerance and resilience rather late in life. I might never have learned at all! Thank goodness for psychotherapy, life experience, meditation every day - and who knows what else!
I'm thinking about it this morning because I had dinner last night with an old friend. We met in 1980 and have been friends ever since. Last night we were reflecting on all the different phases of our friendship. We are not exactly compatible for many reasons that are no one's fault. Those incompatabilities used to create a lot of friction between us. Over time, the sharp edges have mellowed. At last we've settled into a benevolent tolerance of each other's quirks that makes a deep friendship possible. I have no doubt we will be friends until the day we die.
He is not my closest friend, I should say, and we have not harbored romantic feelings for each other for decades. We have a comfortable, radical acceptance of our heart connection in spite of our differences. Earlier in life I would not have been able to comprehend this kind of connection. It is yet one more aspect of aging that I appreciate.
Have a wonderful Wednesday. Shalom.