Listening to the John Cougar Mellencamp this morning...
"When I was a young boy, said put away those young boy ways"... (good song)! It made me think of life, as we all "put away those young boy ways", and evolve into who we are at this moment, and yet we are still changing to who we'll be tomorrow. To me, to "put away" doesn't necessarily mean it must be ignored or forgotten (unless its a character flaw, that we must see and change),... but "Put away" to me means several things. One would be to save and cherish memories from our past. I often imagine creating rooms in my heart and mind, and to fill them with memories of people and places. These rooms are open to me to visit as I desire, and stay for as long as I wish. To remember, honor (if you wish), and occasionally learn from visiting those rooms that I have inside me. Another meaning of "put away those young boy ways"...would be to learn to grow as I grow in life. To act my age, and be where I AM in life, and participate in things "of my age". It's easy to associate habits with those of a younger age. For example, when a boy is 5 years old, he plays with trucks and make noises... When he's 12 and playing basketball with his buddies, it probably wouldn't go over very well, if he dropped down on the ground and began playing with trucks and making noises, it would be counted as "out of place". Being a teenager, the boy does "teenage" things. However, as we reach into our thirties and forties, when we hear "put away those young boy ways", we associate that with putting away things we did when we were teenagers. But, for me, some of the things I did 2-3 years ago, need to be put away as well. As we get older, we must continually learn that change is going to happen throughout our entire lives.
Growing up and making transitions and changes in life are inevitable... Often times these transition periods can be feared and in the end, counted as a crisis, that we simply are not able to deal with well. Depression hits, and we tend to find ourselves wondering why things can't just be the way they used to be. We fail to realize that change is GOING to happen, and we can either grow and learn, or hang onto old ways of looking at things, and be the victim of what has always been a constant in life....change!
What makes these transitions pleasant, or what makes them to be counted as a crisis in our lives, is determined by our ability and willingness to give up old habits and ways of doing things, for the new.
When we are unwilling or unable to suffer the pain of giving up the outgrown, we tend to cling to our old patterns. Thus failing to truly grow up and experience the joyful sense of rebirth that accompanies successful transition into greater maturity. (Adapted from the book "The Road Less Traveled")
Often times, when change is presented, we resist it. Even when we know its what needs to happen. We resist because the old life is familiar and predictable, as we knew it. When we resist change, we try to stop it. We eventually see that it can not be stopped, we then tend to slip into forms of depression and sadness... "Why can't things be the way they were"? We fail to understand and remember, that things will never remain and "be the way they were"...forever. THEY CAN'T! It's impossible. Time and life march on. As our understanding evolves, so must our actions. As our actions evolve, in turn the world around us will indeed evolve as well. Some times we cause the evolution, and sometimes external circumstances are the cause... Either way, we must learn to make transitions.
We all continue down the path of our lives, constantly learning to give up the old, and "put away those young boy ways", and make room for the new. New ways of thought, new habits, and sometimes new individuals. I'm not just referring to people that come into our lives and then leave. Yet, often times those are some of the hardest transitions to make. The acceptance of someone else into our lives, experiencing the joy of their presence, and then having to let them go their way... That is not an easy thing to do. Yet thankfully, some people become a permanent part in our lives, but we must still learn to evolve and let go of old ways of doing things, old thoughts and feelings, and be open to growth and change as we accept new ways of life and motion. Even people that are permanent parts of our lives will evolve, so we must allow that and be open to it. Constantly giving up the old, for the new. "Go with the flow" is always thought of as just being ok with whatever comes up, no matter what. I don't entirely subscribe to that way of thinking. I feel we can control our direction and navigate our lives toward a specific end. I say "go with the flow" yet do it with direction and purpose! Create a goal, create a plan, and execute it with purpose. Along the way, BE OPEN to adaptation of results. Who knows....?? The universe, in the end, might show you an even greater outcome than you ever dreamed possible. Which I have found is oftentimes the case. The Lord is able to make more out us, than we can even imagine.
Change is constant, so we must learn to adapt and grow. We must allow the same for others in our lives... We must learn to "put away young boy ways". Some things however, are to be learned and retained and never compromised...like values, and character...but thats a whole other entry for another time.
Life changes, and as our we learn better tools to better deal with life, we must occasionally let go of old ways of thinking, old patterns, and habits that don't serve... and make room for better ways of living, loving, and growing. As we navigate through life, we should include the Lord as our partner... So we change to be and do, what he would desire.