Riding the Fear of Change with Equanimity

We don’t want to be Left Behind.

Being left behind seems to be a feeling that we all experience no matter the phase of life we’re in. Clients of mine feel left behind because they’re in their 30’s and don’t have their soul partner. Clients who are in their 60’s feel left behind because they only recently found healing and began healing from childhood experiences. Clients who have entered retirement stage feel left behind because the work force continues on without them, or because their saying goodbye to their parents. Friends who are accelerating in their careers feel left behind because they don’t yet have babies. Clients and friends who have gotten married, and are now going through a divorce feel left behind because they’re not happily married with kids already. I too have felt beholden to the feelings of being left behind.

There are phases, waves of life that we go through. We make new friends, we get settled in the ways in which this person, or group have impacted us, and then someone makes a big life choice and moves on. It’s not always about hurt, breakup or hostility, it’s the simple evolution of change. Old friends leave our life for unexpected, and unknown reasons. They move, they travel, they meet someone else and something else becomes their priority, and life paths continue moving in these vastly different directions. It doesn’t mean you love one another any less, and it doesn’t mean that the paths won’t cross again, it just means for this moment in time you are not at an intersection together. Sometimes the breakups, the change is hostile and the devastation hurts far more than we would ever have expected. People get married, live in new states, build families, make new friends, buy houses, get divorced, break-up, meet someone new.

The only thing that is ever constant is change.

Change and evolution are the constant we can depend on.

The Buddhist lineage lives by a belief system that life is suffering. This is one of the Four Noble Truths. My interpretation of this belief is rooted in the idea that pain and suffering are bound to happen and it is our choice how we work with this. When we can embrace this change as truth, we’re naturally more inclined and able to ride the waves of pain and suffering with equanimity. This way of life is less about trying to remain calm and unaffected, and more about opening to our own understanding of pain, of our healing journey. It’s also about opening to not understanding our journey’s and allowing self to ride it through with equanimity. For those of us who are sensitive beings, this feels like the North Star.

To ride through the waves of change with equanimity feels like a constant effort for me. I’ve been knocked off my feet, double over by darkness and pain, and troubled by the unknown like every human being on this planet, more times than I can count. And I will never stop trying to ride my emotions through with equanimity, never let the fears and feelings of being left behind overtake me. They don't own me. They’re simply messages, information for me to go deeper. An opportunity  for me to wake up each and everyday and face them with fortune and belief that my blooming and growth is inevitable.

When we ride the waves of change, the pain, the suffering, the feelings of being left behind with equanimity not only are we experiencing the depths of emotion, but we’re allowing these emotions to give us information about what’s next. And all while resisting the temptation to become overcome with comparison syndrome. And what if instead of living in social media life, we instead honored and claimed the moments we’re feeling stuck in comparison, and allowed ourselves to move through with presence, trust and an inner knowing that we’re on exactly the path we’re meant to be on. We can’t know where it all is going to lead, but trusting in the process allows the left behind feelings to be held with love without overtaking us. It allows change to naturally occur as it is intended without turning our worlds upside down.

The reality is some experiences, some emotions are going to overtake us. Some traumas are so big there is nothing that we can do but feel them, be in them and allow the rocking to occur. The desired way of being happens once that rocking has begun to slow. Once you can see through the fog a bit, that is when we become conscious enough to see our choice of riding with equanimity. That is when we have the choice of presence, of letting ourselves be changed by evolution. Evolving with equanimity is finding your way through the change for yourself, for your loved ones, for your world, time and time again.