Change is Gonna Come. – I feel bullied and beaten down, one blow after another. Just like a lot of those days back in grade school. On the playground, the trail through the empty lot behind old man Taylor’s place. The shortcut under the willow tree I took running to the safety of Grandma’s house. Legs burning, feeling heavy as concrete, lungs gasping for air, the taunting of them catching up to me. Is it ever going to stop? I tell myself to stand up, take another step, and keep going.
March has already arrived, and the hits this year still keep coming. Day after day in the hospital during Pop’s cancer battle with the complications of his recovery, Momma’s stroke, Covid, house remodel delays, 100-year storms, and the feeling of never catching up and drowning in my to-do list. Anyone might have blamed the universe. Or screamed that fate had done this to them, threw up their arms, and complained to everyone around. Shaken their fist defiantly at the world and demanded to know why. Or, maybe, like the heroes I grew up with and me, we pick it all up and try to do it all ourselves. And grind ourselves down until we can’t help anyone or do anything.
Here’s where I reach into my toolbox, call my coaches, and work on changing my mindset.
What would change in you if every time you thought, WHY is the universe doing this TO me? Instead, you changed the question to, WHAT is the universe trying to TEACH me? It does a couple of things for us. First, it makes it less personal and threatening to us. And second, it puts us into a forward motion, moving towards a solution. If your mindset is thinking that things are being done TO you, out of your control, you may feel like you’re constantly under attack. Like everything is out to get you, you may feel stuck, wonder what you did to deserve this and keep looking backward into the past to find a reason.
Now, yes, sometimes it is necessary to look for causes or moments in our history to help us to process, get through things and move forward. Yet when our mindset shifts and starts looking for the answer in the future, we get engaged in finding the next clue that’s coming. The brain unleashes all its power, adaptations, and abilities to understand things and learn. We want to know and achieve; to survive, we humans always need to change. It’s how we grow and become the person we want to be. So, in my meditation, during my workout, that quiet moment I take to breathe during my day, I change the question. I keep asking myself, WHAT is the universe trying to TEACH me?
Change is gonna come.
I’m slumped in his hospital room chair. Well, not the hospital, a skilled nursing facility now, but it still feels the same. Piles of forms and documents are on my lap, and my eyes are too tired to read anymore. Then, there’s a tap at the door, and my sister walks in. Like Momma, she has a way of lighting up any room she enters, and her voice brings an instant smile to Pop’s face and mine. We soon turn to coordinate our schedules for our folk’s numerous appointments. My sister mentioned she could cancel some horse lessons to take Momma on Friday.
Even in his weakened state, his voice is commanding, “No, you always take care of your customers.” “We’ll get someone to help.” Then, like a lightning bolt, it hit me. You know that feeling you get when you finally figure it out? Get someone to help. Well, ok universe, I heard you this time.
You got my full attention now.
It was in Pop’s reminder that we were brought up to keep our commitments, our word, that when you shake someone’s hand and make a promise, you keep it. Finally, I figured out what the universe was trying to teach me, it’s time for a change, for all of us to change. Just as Pop is changing and asking me to step up and help him look after the family business and tasks he was responsible for and now struggles to do. I need to change and grow and allow the fantastic family and friends we have to help me when I need them. Trying to do it all won’t help the family as much as having the help I need by asking for it. Hey, universe, I hear you loud and clear.
Pop has always led by example. Every day of my life, I have lived with, looked up to, been mentored by, challenged by, listened to, competed with, taught by, encouraged by, and loved by one of my biggest heroes. He has been instrumental in my becoming the man I am and the man I want to be. During one of our late-night discussions in the hospital, I told him I was sorry for not being able to fill his boots. With that legendary stare, he scoffed, looked square at me, and said. “Of course not; I never wanted you to. You’re supposed to fill out your own boots, and you’ve done a good job of that. Besides, your feet are bigger than mine.” Pop, I am so blessed and grateful beyond words to have been given a father like you.