It is our inability to accept our new, ever-changing, realities that causes all our suffering.
Yesterday, we watched an interesting Malayalam film called “Neena” (2015, Lal Jose, Deepti Sati, Vijay Babu, Ann Augustine). It’s a love triangle of sorts involving two very strong women characters, Neena and Nalini, and Nalini’s husband – who is also Neena’s boss – Vinu. When Neena chooses to distance herself from Vinu, just when he is willing to get involved with her, a character in the film, a psychiatrist, tells Vinu: “Everything changes. Absolutely everything.”
I loved the line and the impactful manner in which the psychiatrist character (played by Lena Abhilash) delivers it onscreen. Apart from triggering a pivotal turning point in the film’s script, the line has a deep spiritual import. If you have understood this line and internalized it, Life can be so much simpler to live. I will add to that line, remember this, everyone changes too – and that includes you!
It doesn’t matter how old you are, but if you spend some time reviewing and reflecting on your Life so far, you too will appreciate that you have witnessed so much change in and around you in all your time. Yet, why do we struggle with dealing with change? The answer is pretty simple. We refuse to accept that Life is ever-flowing, like a river, in fact. We want and expect our Life to be static, just so that it remains the way we want it to be. But this is impossible. According to a popular Zen saying, you don’t step into the same river twice. This means that in the time you took to step into a river, withdrew your feet, and stepped in again, the river has flown; it has changed! So it is with Life. Gulzar captures this so beautifully in the immortal Kishore Kumar song “Aane Wala Pal, Jaane Wala Hai” from Golmaal (1978, music by R D Burman). The second line of the mukhda is very powerful. It says, “…Ho Sake To Isme Zindagi Bita Do, Pal Jo Yeh Jaane Wala Hai…” It means, “…live your Life in the moment, for this moment will be gone soon…”
Indeed, over time, everything and everyone changes. This is the unalterable law of the Universe. So, if you find that people around you have changed, your old relationships have withered away even as newer ones have evolved, take them as they come. When you see physical, bodily changes in you, don’t fear them, know that it is a natural process of change – growing first, slowly withering away to eventually perishing. Every aspect of our lifestyle has changed in just the last 10 years – from the way we bank, to the way we communicate to the way we shoot pictures and the way we connect and share with our friends and family. With such irrevocable change happening to us and around us, it is a no-brainer that change must be welcomed and embraced for your own inner peace, your own happiness. Yet, the only reason why you struggle with change is because you are non-accepting of it. Instead embrace the change, accept it and move on. Learn to flow with Life. Remember: all what you resist causes your suffering. But the moment you accept whatever is, you can be totally happy – not matter what your circumstances are.