Years ago I went to work at a place where I sought to institute various changes. I met lots of resistance – I admit I lacked the managerial chops at the time to enroll people in my ideas, as I should have – and kept hearing the same thing over and over again: “People don’t like change.”
For me, that was odd. I have never feared things changing so much as I have feared things not changing. Personally, I’m more scared of getting bored than of mixing things up.
I’ve always felt like the universe is our dance partner; sometimes it’s a slow dance and sometimes fast, but never like someone who just sits with us on the sidelines. The universe is never inert. It is always on the move; as is nature; as is life itself. And that does not mean it’s dangerous; it simply means it’s creative. I suppose if you think the universe is random, then change can appear dangerous. But if you believe, as Einstein said, that “God doesn’t play dice with the universe,” then the ever-changing nature of things is simply the handwriting of God.
The question becomes, of course, what exactly is He writing? And to me, He is writing an endless and dramatic love story. Imagine an infinitely powerful computer able to calculate everything that happens down to the tiniest atomic level detail in such a way as to provide for all living things, past, present, and future, to prosper. That, to me, is the Mind of God.
The problem we have in life is when we insist on writing a story that is different than His, when we put our will before Love’s will, and our ideas of what we want before Love’s idea of what would be best for everyone. The universe isn’t a zero-sum game (another one of those false notions that can make it appear dangerous), but rather a constant explosion of win-win possibilities. The mind when attuned to love is a channel for all that to happen; the mind when not attuned to love is just as powerful, but in the opposite direction.
And that is where we are in the world. We are not, as a species, collectively aligned with love. Fear, not compassion; economics, not humanitarian values; and war, not peace are our dominant guiding principles. Lovelessness toward ourselves, toward each other, toward animals, and toward the earth itself has taken us to a point where it is we – not God – who are playing dice with the universe. We – not the universe – are playing a very dangerous game. We fear the universe is a dangerous place because we’re simply projecting onto it our own recklessness.
So what happens now? THINGS HAVE TO CHANGE!!
The truth is, if we do not change, then some terrible things are likely to occur. If we do not change willingly and wisely, then change will be thrust upon us.
There is no safety now in keeping things as they are. All our systems – biological, economic, environmental, geo-political – are on red alert, sirens blaring, warnings looming, and yet we do not change. Or if we are, we are changing far too slowly.
I, for one – and I sense I am not alone in this – do not fear change so much as I fear what will happen if humanity does not change. I love these words by Anais Nin: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Humanity cannot remain in the small, tight shell of who we have been, and have any hope of handling the enormous challenges that now confront us. We must become who we are capable of being, and that means we must change.
I’m reminded of how a tiny chicken knows when it’s time to peck its way out of the eggshell surrounding it. When the time has come for the chicken to emerge, its mother instinctively knows to tap on the eggshell from the outside. That is a sign. At that moment, when it’s time for the chicken to hatch, a noxious gas fills the inside of the eggshell. The tiny chicken is literally dying to be born.
Feel familiar? Has it not occurred to us yet that we cannot remain where and how we are? That we must find a way to reorient our existence such a way as to live in sustainable connection with the rest of life? Is figuring out how to fly off to other planets really our only option? God help them on those other planets, if it is.
No, the answer isn’t to escape our planet but to change it. When we are willing to consider that there might be another way – that a fundamental change in how we live on this earth is our true escape from danger – then openings will occur that we cannot yet imagine. We will not resist change; we will embrace it. We will trust that the universe still awaits our decision to return to the ways of love.
What great love story, after all, doesn’t include someone betraying, neglecting, tarnishing, or abandoning love? Isn’t every moment, and every situation really, just a tussle between the willingness and unwillingness to love? And aren’t the best love stories where someone finds a way to return to love’s embrace at last? Where they finally realize, “I’ve been a fool, but I’m a fool no longer?”
We have been fools, but we need be fools no longer.
We can change.