The Story of a Carol

Changing Times

I'm thinking a lot about change at the moment.

Perhaps it's because it's coming to the end of the year ... a traditional time when we think about making 'resolutions' and changes to our lifestyles, situations and even our working life.

Or maybe it's because this year for me has been one of substantial change - from working full time (at home because of pandemic restrictions) to working once again for myself, looking after a loved one and juggling life and finances.

Change, however it comes about and whether it's forced upon us or we choose it deliberately. can be very scary. Taking ourselves out of our comfort zone, turning our lives inside out and upside down - it's hard to envisage sometimes that life could be different.

Perhaps if we're so used to our lives we're frightened that what we may wish for might not be great, even after years of dreaming. I know I've said before, and quite recently, that a wise boss once told me 'be careful what you wish for', because that might not be better than the life, and job, and situation you have now.

Sometimes though, we hold ourselves back from altering our situation because we just worry that once we've made the change, we won't like what we find. We might yearn for happiness but are scared that we won't find it on the other side of change.

But - here's a question - what if it is better?

What if making the changes perhaps we know are required in our lives - a new job, a new home or a move, improved health and fitness, a new relationship, a new momentum and direction, new spiritual connections  - IS better than what we have now?

If we don't try, we'll never know.

Today I bring you a saying from a 13th century poet, mystic, scholar and theologian who is known simply as Rumi and this is just one of the many wise quotes that are attributed to him.

Rumi came from a Persian Islamic Sufi tradition - he hailed from Greater Khorasan in a region known as Greater Iran and he wrote mostly in Persian, but occasionally he also used Turkish, Arabic, and the Greek languages, His writings were originally influential among the Central Asian Muslims, and the Islamic population of the Indian subcontinent.

He died on this day - December 17th - in the year 1273 and down the centuries his thoughts, philosophy, words, prose and verse, have been translated into many languages. His secular and spiritual vision extends beyond narrow understanding of Islam and transcends spiritual connections.  In fact, Rumi has been described as the "most popular poet" and the "best selling poet" in the United States. His work and many of his sayings speak directly into the heart of some of  the basic concerns, issues and challenges of humankind, even in our so-called sophisticated 'modern' 21st century times.

Upside Down - RumiTake this saying, for instance.

Whatever age we live in or have lived in, we all share some of the same traits, including that urge to change but that fear that comes with it. I would say it's part of being human.

To want more, but to not want to disturb the present.

To feel deeply like we need to turn our lives around, but to be afraid of the consequences, and scared of the unknown.

To know in our hearts that what we have right now could be better and to risk the change.

But here Rumi reminds us of an ancient wisdom, that we don't know if change will be better unless we try it.

Today, if you're facing uncertainty or need to work out what it is that you really want, and as you face another new year and possible new opportunities and changes, be encouraged by these thoughts from a very wise man.








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