Cooke famously sang that change was gonna come.
We just didn’t realize it would come so suddenly.
That’s often how change works. Everything is gradual until it falls off a cliff. Our world is at a standstill, and then all of the sudden, it’s not.
Sociologists would call this a point of instability. It’s when life gives us no choice but to rapidly and dramatically change our behavior.
Illness and injury are the perfect example. They strike unfairly and without warning. And dealing with our recovery can be quite taxing and gloomy. Not only physically, but also psychologically.
Especially as we get older. Every ailment seems to last longer a bit longer than we’d like.
Whyte advises us, on the other hand, to experience these depths of sorrow in ways that do not overwhelm and debilitate us, but put us in a proper, more generous relationship with the future.
Pain teaches us a fine economy in what we ask of ourselves, he says.
Which means we can use pain to trigger quality reflections. We can view our changes not as painful problems, but as potential improvements that are yelling at us. Ultimately comforting ourselves with the knowledge that there is nothing wrong with the pain that we are experiencing, and whatever we are experiencing will go away eventually.
Or not. Maybe we actually can’t eradicate our pain, and we will have to learn to integrate it. Fine.
Point being, the average human is highly resilient. Events that disgust us one day become infinitely acceptable the next.
Cooke’s lyrics come to mind again:
There have been times that we thought we couldn’t last for long, but now we think we’re able to carry on.
Not a bad song to have ringing in our ears as we fall off the cliff.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Does your impatience distorts your growth by not allowing it proper timing?