NOTE: This article appeared in The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), on May 31, 2008.
(Headline was chosen by the newspaper. They “got” it!)
Embracing change allows choice of love over fear
Recently I was reminded of one of my favorite scenes from the musical, “Fiddler on the Roof”. Tevye, a poor Russian milkman, is listening to an argument between his longtime villager friend, and Perchik, a young revolutionary student. They’re discussing the merits of keeping abreast of political and social changes happening outside their little village. The villager presents his reasoning, and Tevye comments, “You’re right!” Then Perchik presents his case, and Tevye again concludes, “You’re right!” Another who’s been listening replies, “He’s right and he’s right? They can’t both be right.” At this point Tevye scratches his head, and in his best Yiddish accent says, “You know, you are also right.”
Therein lies the nature of paradox. This little scene is a beautiful example of how sometimes it’s necessary to adopt a higher perspective in order to see the big picture, to allow seeming opposites to be true at the same time.
Tevye is asked, throughout the course of the story, to embrace a whole series of changes – to reexamine much of his beloved “Tradition” – in the face of the rapidly changing times. Out of deep love for his children, Tevye ultimately chooses to surrender many of his entrenched ideas and dogmas. He learns to open to new ways of looking at things. As Hodel, his middle daughter says, “The world is changing, Papa!” and we watch with great compassion as Tevye learns to change with it.
The world is constantly changing. Like Tevye, sometimes I embrace the changes in my world more gracefully than others. I do my best to view changes, large or small, as opportunities, not threats. When I’m able to look at a situation from my Higher Self, I am at peace with paradox: I can be afraid and have absolute trust; I can be in pain and know it’s all okay; I can disagree with and totally accept another’s point of view; I can see suffering and perfection in the world.
Einstein, who elegantly combined his profound scientific understanding with a deep reverence of the Divine, points out that: “A problem cannot be solved from the same consciousness level in which it was created.”
It is said, “In God, all things are possible.” I find myself coming back to these words time and again when I feel “stuck in my stuff”, when I am digging in my heels to resist the change that my soul is urging me to make. These words remind me to “Let go and let God”…to raise my awareness level so that I may see the solution that remains elusive in my present state of being.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” said Gandhi. Indeed, I know I must continually choose to open my mind and heart to a Higher Wisdom, to choose love over fear, to become large enough to contain it all…. For only in so doing may I help create the personal and planetary peace for which my soul so deeply hungers.
Nancy Hopps is an author and body/mind/Spirit healer whose life/work integrates the healing power of Love.
Copyright March 1, 2008