Saturday, December 3, 2011

December 3 - Anicca (Impermanence)

A river of melt-water running down the slope o...
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What did you let go of this year? Whom did you let go?

Perhaps it was yoga that taught me to accept change. Perhaps I was born knowing that everything is temporary. Perhaps life itself taught me how to adapt. In any case, change does not scare me too much. I grieve losses, but I can let go. At least, I think I can.

2010 was a tough year that forced me to face the idea that my parents won't always be here. There were funerals for two of their close friends, people I'd grown up calling "aunt" and "uncle." Later that year my father underwent cardiac bypass surgery. I struggled with fear then. Through all of life's craziness my parents have always been there, to pick me up and stand me on my feet or to lift me up and stand me on a pedestal.

2011 was better. My dad recovered and is doing well. The cardiac event prompted both of my parents to pay more attention to their health and wellness. They were there for me while my life went through some less drastic changes and supported me when I took some risks. Then, just a couple of months ago, another friend was gone, suddenly. Within a few weeks of receiving a diagnosis of cancer, the man who was my "second father" during my high school years had passed.

The hardest thing to remember when we are grieving is that change isn't just an outward flow. While we are letting go, something new is flowing in. After the funeral, eating Chinese take-out in a motel room, I opened a fortune cookie with the message "old friends who were lost will return to you." It was an interesting sentiment to receive after seeing lots of people I hadn't spoken to in nearly a decade at the funeral.

A week after the funeral I received an email from my best friend growing up, which was a huge relief since I'd lost her contact information when my computer crashed early this year. Then, just last week, I had the opportunity to reconnect with a friend I'd left behind in New Jersey. Oh, and yesterday my teenager was texting with the grandson of the man who'd passed, someone she played with as a toddler but hadn't seen for years before the funeral. I'm not interfering, but I can't help but wonder I will someday have another link to a family full of old friends.

Things flow out and things flow in. All we can count on is the flow.
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