Real change comes in waves, I realize that now.
It is turbulent and violent, it lifts you up and throws you down and like nature, when you think you have it all figured out, it shows its breadth, its fire. You find yourself constantly going through periods of acceptance, of achievement, feeling you have arrived, conquered something unconquerable only to understand that everything around you is made of cardboard. You wake from a dream into a dream into a dream, thinking each to be real, the culmination of sleep before the veneer is pulled away leaving the sleeper still sleeping and the ordeal ongoing.
For the world doesn’t change, ever, it is eternally, blissfully the same. Perfection need not change, alter itself to suit the whims of all around it. The world, the real world of growth and life, nature and its myriad forms is eternal, pristine and it is only our place in it, our perception of it that shifts. It is a painful process, a birthing as we try to find a shape which fits our surroundings, which is worthy of our own self-image.
What is our true self? How do we carve off the old and the borrowed, the ideals of others and realize ourselves? How do we recognize what is true when we are tainted, bred to only acknowledge and honour all that is not?
It involves pain. It involves hardship, blunt nights at the watch, harrowed hours in front of the mirror, trails through dark and bitter memories and, ultimately… hopefully, acceptance.
Because isn’t that the common thread? Isn’t that what we really want to change, when we effect any change at all; to love ourselves a little more? Perhaps to love where none has ever been there before?
We effect an awful lot of change in ourselves to court love, to gather it from outside sources, but real change is not about the petty affectations of others and is wholly concerned with trying to court ones self. It is a form of romance, an inner ode, offering platitudes of service and devotion to your own heart in the hope that it might love you better. It is the love that is never spoken of in fairy tales, though it should, setting us up for a lifetime of loving oneself instead of looking for validation from austere princes or fey and random royalty.
We change to meet our own expectation, sometimes to exceed it. We change to slap the world in the face and remove its uninvited hand from our thigh. We change to bring peace, to shake the silence and to invite peaceable sleep.
Real change is making love with yourself, as if for the first time. It is awkward and slow, beautiful and painful. It stirs up long dormant things and kisses each like it was a newborn. It makes you look at yourself naked, through new eyes and reminds you of all you are and all you are not. You writhe in its embrace, uncomfortable, yet if you honour it, it will not let you go, will keep you close and whisper words you have never heard before.
It comes in waves.
It is not for the faint of heart.
Yet it’s all there is.
The world doesn’t change, we do.
Yet through our eyes we make new ones.
Or, at least, we should.