Thursday, April 22, 2021

April 22--The Melancholy of Change

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.  --Anatole France

    With April's theme of growth, I note that change and growth go hand-in-hand, both driving forces. Growth results in change, and change results in growth. They take us from one life to the next. We can resist, or simply feel the melancholy and move on to new adventures. 
    I relate strongly to the melancholy feelings around change. We've certainly felt it as we've moved through the changes introduced by the pandemic. Freedom to go and do as we choose has been greatly limited. I recall early in my 12-Step journey that my longed-for recovery brought me the sadness of leaving behind my "best friend," my substance of choice. I feel melancholy when a much-anticipated trip is completed and it's back to "normal life." Leaving a job may mean leaving work and folks one has enjoyed for a long time. How about becoming an empty-nester? There's a much longed-for change (children becoming successful, self-supporting adults) that brings on the melancholy of missing them and the joys of their upbringing. When I consider the prospect of moving from our current home of 36 years, the melancholy is instant. We are not planning such a move at the moment, but it will likely happen someday as we enter another phase of life. 
    Feeling the melancholy of change is a part of being human. Allowing those feelings to move through us actually makes dying to the old life easier.
    Growing and changing,

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