Impermanence and selflessness are not negative aspects of life, but the very foundations on which life is built. Impermanence is the constant transformation of things. Without impermanence, there can be no life. Selflessness is the interdependent nature of all things. Without interdependence, nothing could exist. Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh
Impermanence and selflessness suggest to me a unmooring of all that I hold to be dear-Consistency, Structure, Stability, Self-reliance. I know all the schedules and structures I put in place are simply coping mechanisms, ways to try and control the unknown.
Growing up my life felt like it was constantly changing. My mom might decide at any given moment that she was ready to move again which could imply a change of school along with an address change. Each new school meant being the new kid again-new to the teachers, new to the students, new to the culture. I hated it. I just wanted things to be predictable. I envied those people who had lived in one house their entire lives. By the time I was 30 years old, I was married with 2 little boys, a white picket fence, and a dog. It was all I had ever wanted. The uncertainty of my childhood had left me with an aversion to change and an unrealistic belief that certain outward signs indicated security, like a 2-story farmhouse!
I could not have been more wrong. Shortly after the birth of my third child, I realized that I was numb and growing less connected to myself each day. All the outward signs indicated life was good. Getting married, raising children, caring for a dog, owning a home, these things meant that my life was on track; on a very specific track that demanded commitment, permanence, consistency. In 2002 my life went off the rails, I asked my husband for a divorce and what ensued was several years of uncertainty and change.
Yes, I would do it again and yes, I think I could do it better. Things were pretty messy and crazy for a while. And yes, I still look for structure and schedules to provide an anchor to my life.
However my transformation has been most pronounced in that I have more clarity around what systems I can put in place to dissuade my anxiety caused by uncertainty while allowing for change/growth to happen in other areas of my life. This is a constant process for me. The selflessness I work on too. It shows up in my life as faith in the interdependence and interconnectedness of life. I have demonstrated results that things do work out for the best eventually and not always in the exact way in which I had envisioned. Again this is a process to remind myself of what actually is within my control. And the truth is very little.