Sometimes when I get hold of something that is profoundly affecting my life, I just will not let it go until I can get some clarity……. “Like a dog on a bone”…they say. I am that way with change right now. It is fascinating me, challenging me, confusing me, frustrating me, and at the same time bringing me joy in the growth that I am experiencing on the way.
There is a lot change going on in my life right now and I am doing my best to stay present so I can learn more about change and myself. I want to share a story of change in my life and how it is such a perfect metaphor for how I deal with change (and I guess so do others).
My girlfriend and I purchased a house on a small street that dead ends into our neighborhood elementary school. We love being next to the school and hearing all the kids play. The one drawback is parking. This situation has been going on long before we got there. I noticed that all the neighbors on our street had put big rocks in their front yard along the street to prevent people from parking on their yards and killing their grass and leaving mud holes. This was a result of two times a day when parents would come either pick up or drop off their kids and it an issue when the school was converted to a Montessori school and was no longer just a neighborhood elementary…..the students were being driven in from outside the neighborhood.
The change came when one of our neighbors, who happens to be a Constable, got a petition signed to put No Parking 7-9 am 2-4 pm signs on our street. The first week about half of the cars stopped parking because of the signs and the others ignored the signs. I would tell them they can’t park there but they would ignore me, argue with me, or just ask me what was I going to do about it. I soon realized that I was getting angry and change was not happening like it was supposed to…..the signs were up, the parking should stop.
Over the next month, I worked on letting go and each day that I let go more and more, some interesting things started to happen. First, the principal of the school came out and told parents not to park there then the constable from our neighborhood started showing up in the afternoons to tell the few remaining holdouts that if they continued to park there, they would get a ticket and as of this week the constable started showing up in the mornings.
My lesson is that not all change happens when I want it to. I have to allow time to let change happen, either for myself or others. Even though change happens in an instant, I need time to adjust to the change. When I let go and let the change happen there is always a wonderful opportunity on the other side…..amazing how that works.
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