The Greatest Adventure Of Your Life Awaits In The Midst Of The Unknown
"You’ve changed. I don’t know you anymore.”
These words echoed inside my head the whole day. It came across cold and hard. I don’t think I’m comfortable with the accusatory tone.
What was that supposed to mean? Don’t we all?
It’s an uncomfortable realization that some part of me is no longer the same. But this is exactly what we all have signed up for. It’s the one truth we can count on about being human, and that is life changes people.
I’m not too sure that the things I once dreamed of in the past are going to sound as exciting in my future. I’m not even worried about my promises to stay true to my former self, or what others might talk when they notice I’m different now.
It’s not an easy acceptance, somewhat confusing for my mind to process.
I guess this is the root of some of our suffering. We all had unconsciously expected everything to remain the same. Some part of us frantically hangs on to what we count as permanent. Everyone loves the familiar because it taps into our deep-seated need for security. But life is always on the move and things never remain the same.
We had the mistaken assumption that one day, many moons from now when we finally have it all together, we would reach the point where we can take it easy, settle down and watch life go by.
We thought we knew the world, at least our world, well enough that we can remain consistent, and stay the course no matter where it leads us. We were simply assured that one day we will arrive on the other side, fulfilled and satisfied.
Technically we were not wrong. It’s just that we dreamed as who we were then, being young and naïve. We were too inexperienced to accept that nothing in life is ever permanent. No matter how much we’ve learned, we don’t really know anything at all.
If you think you know your partner who has been around almost forever, you’re in the grip of delusion. You won’t know his history, not in its full complexity. You won’t know for sure how he is in his emotional world, his hopes and aspirations, his musings of fears and joy. How could you possibly know everything that’s going on inside his head?
You probably thought you know your kids, but that knowledge is just an imagined construction. You may sometimes make good guesses and have a pretty good idea about certain things yesterday. You have no idea of what they will become tomorrow, or even later today. They are constantly changing and have been since the day they were born, and will continue to be so every day. One day you won’t even recognize that little bundle of joy that used to fit in your arms.
Perhaps it’s this mystery that scares us into our imaginary world, finding solace away from the harsh reality of life.
Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.
— Shunryu Suzuki