Everything changes – it is not personal it is life

By Nina Steele 

It took me a while to understand that I should not hold on to anything too tightly, because nothing lasts forever. Everything is in a constant state of flux. And yes it is not personal, it is the essence of life itself.

Like most people, I had dreams and aspirations growing up, and once most of them came to fruition, the natural thing to do was to try and hold on to them. Anything that was not planned or expected was automatically labelled as bad. I liked it when my life was predictable.

The only problem with predictability and familiarity is that it teaches you nothing that you don’t already know. To grow as a person, you need new challenges.

Change often means getting out of our comfort zone, which is why there is so much resistance to it. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if things stayed as they are?

I started paying attention to the message that nothing lasts forever when I noticed that every time I became too attached to something and thought I could not do without it, something happened to it.

It happened with my favourite jacket, then my favourite shoes, next was the car, then the service provider (having to change hairdresser is always a big deal). And so it went. The penny finally dropped.

I now enjoy things without getting too attached to them. The concept of non-attachment is one of the pillars of spirituality. I learned a lot by reading books by Eckhart Tolle. ‘A New Earth’ and the ‘Power of Now’, my two favourites.

Working with the elderly for 8 years, was also a defining moment for me. Here were people who were once fit and healthy, the majority now needing help on a daily basis. It does have the power to humble you.

With regards to the body, I learned while working with the elderly that all I can do is to look after myself by choosing a healthy lifestyle. Ultimately, whether I will be one of those fortunate people who are in good health throughout their lives, only time will tell.

Talking of the body, our appearance obsessed culture is giving the impression that we can hold on to our looks forever. Well no one can, regardless of how much plastic surgery you have. I suppose the gradual changes in our physical appearance is the ultimate proof that everything is in a constant state of flux.

If there was ever a case that proves how futile it is to hold on to anything, this story will be it. A mother of three who cannot be named for legal reasons, was allowed to end her life, aged 50, because she couldn’t bear losing her looks and she had also fallen on hard times. Of course this is an extreme case. However, it is still worth mentioning, because it is a fair representation of our image and status obsessed culture.

becoming a minimalist

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