AsMuchAsThingsChangeWhat a great week!  Cheri and Cathy – two of my sisters were in Phoenix for a visit, and on the day they left, Anita a friend for the past 32 years was here for a short visit.  Plenty of laughs, reminiscing, and story telling!

It really has me thinking about that old adage “As much as things change, things stay the same”!
Sure we are all older now.  The bodies creak or don’t move as quickly as they use to.  There are even segments of time that are hard to recall.  Yet what is constant is that there is history, content and connection.  Perhaps that simply means is that there is Love.
I usually feel quite solid in who I am; what works in my life and what doesn’t; a set of predictable reactions to various situations.  But when you are with friends and loved ones “who knew you when…”, all bets are off!  I find myself reverting back to behaviors, roles or forms of self-expression that I thought would never see the light of day again!

This is not something that happens because the other person(s) demands or expects it.., it happens because of all those years of shared experience!  They know and remember things about me that I might have forgotten (or be trying to forget!).  Accomplishments; embarrassing things; stumbles and falls; successes; even bad hair or clothing choices!  Hey… Some of us lived through the 80s!!!
And yet they are still here.  Still part of my life.  Still part of the unfolding story.  And vise-a-versa!
One of the things I recognized for myself was the willingness to let them be exactly where they are without the need or want for anything to be different.  I would love to say this has always been true… But in truth, I think in the past I always wished for “something more” for the people in my life.  A significant other, a better job, easier time health-wise.., more.
In the past, this ‘want for them’ seemed sincere and honoring.  Yet with the absence of it this time.., it actually makes it seem arrogant or maybe even judgmental.  As if somehow, where they were or what they were doing wasn’t enough.  Now mind you these are people I love.., so it’s a good thing to champion, encourage or support them.  Yet, maybe where they are.., or where I am.., is exactly where we are suppose to be.
One theme that seemed to come several times is this idea that what we do – is not who we are.  We can be so quick to assign ourselves labels.  We can make ourselves wrong or less than simply by deciding that something we are doing (or not doing) means we are bad or <insert self-judgment here>.  Yet the truth is, we are all perfectly imperfect.  Not good or bad, more than or less than, right or wrong.  Instead we are simply human beings having our own unique life experiences.
And sometimes, we are fortunate enough to have family and friends to count on through most of our journey!   This week while, ‘As much as things have changed or stayed the same’.., what is most evident for me is the feeling of being blessed by many long term relationships!  Virtual hugs to all of you.  You know who you are!

 

With Light, Love, and Laughter
Charles
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