Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Emerging: Change

Dudes.  Can you believe that change ever ever happens?

No, seriously.  Some ancient Greek folks spent a lot of time arguing about whether or how change is even possible.  I won't dust off my (extremely dusty) explanations of those arguments here, but in the end (that's a joke for Aristotelians), the deal is basically like this:  The only way for A to become B is if B is already in A.

The only way for a thing to change is if the potential for the outcome is always already there in the first place.

Like, a chicken can't come from an egg unless the egg already in some sense has the chicken in it - the ingredients and ability to make the chicken.

A magnolia tree can't come from a seed unless the seed already contains the ingredients and ability to grow into a magnolia tree.

Optimus Prime can't transform into a truck unless he already has the right parts that bend the right ways.  (Random TBH trivia:  one band name we threw around was Artemis Prime.)

And a person cannot change unless they already have within them the tools and capacity to make those changes.

All of these things require the right conditions, of course.

And you gotta have some patience, because the emerging takes time.

Today I came across an instant message conversation from over two years ago.  As I read it, I remembered during that time how I felt a sort of desperation to change.  To become someone more steady, more rooted.  Looking back on that conversation I can see how, as recently as this week, I am realizing things that only someone more steady and more rooted could embrace.  I am just now becoming that person I was desperate to be.

It's such a relief.  Really, it rules.

Maybe those moments of "Aaah I want to change!" came from a new awareness of that potential for change already inside.  Maybe that tangly mess of a conversation was one of the first steps toward choosing the conditions that would allow that potential to make its way out into the actual light of day.

It makes me awfully grateful for the patient people in my life.


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