Stability gives us security. The stable is predictable and, to some extent, necessary and comforting. However, many times our illusion of control prevents us from being fully aware that life changes in a second.
It only takes a second to enter a room full of strangers and meet the person who will become the love of your life. In a second you can discover that you will bring a little person into the world, that son who will change your center of gravity forever. It is also enough to neglect for a second to suffer a serious accident. In a second you can lose someone you love forever or you can risk what you have fought so hard for…
Life can change in an instant. And we need to be prepared to take those unexpected turns. We need to prepare ourselves to embrace the uncertainty and chaos that creeps into our world from time to time.
Change is the only constant in life
“Everything changes, nothing is”, said Heraclitus, who also affirmed that it is impossible to bathe in the same river twice because the next time we enter its waters, both the river and us will have changed.
Sometimes these changes are so small that we do not notice them, other times it is impossible not to notice their presence. Sometimes they come gently, giving us time to get used to it, and other times they come creating difficult-to-accept seismic waves that force us to adapt at a forced pace.
Life is full of ups and downs. There are periods of calm and periods of storm. Periods of stability and periods of transformations. However, even during the calmest stages, those marked by a pleasant routine in which everything seems to be under control, unexpected changes in one direction or another can occur.
In reality, we are all immersed in a process of continuous transformation, subject to a myriad of factors beyond our control. That’s how life works – for better and for worse.
We can’t always anticipate these sudden and unexpected events, but we can prepare to deal with them by embracing uncertainty in a whole new way, with a curious attitude that moves us away from fear and closer to the radical acceptance that is at the heart of inner peace.
Embracing uncertainty with gratitude and hope
The awareness that we could lose a lot in just an instant does not have to lead to pessimism. On the contrary, it encourages us not to take anything for granted. Being aware that life changes in a second is an encouragement to feel grateful for every moment we can enjoy what makes us happy and the people we love. It is an incentive to feel grateful for the goals we have achieved and even for the possibility of continuing to fight to make our dreams come true.
The fact that life can change in an instant also encourages us to think about all those other positive things that can happen, from getting the job we have always dreamed of to finding the love of our lives or many other wonderful things that could be waiting for us around the corner.
And when those hard moments arrive that leave us shaken and vulnerable, we must also think that everything is temporary. Life goes on. Bad times are not forever. The sorrows lighten and the suffering calms down. Eventually, we will manage to turn the page, waiting for that next moment to bring us more serenity.
The awareness that life changes in a second encourages us to understand that each moment comes and goes very quickly. Therefore, it is an incitement to stop. Relax. Pausing to savor life’s little pleasures, while we can and for as long as we can.
There are no guarantees that we will have a tomorrow. We won’t know what that tomorrow will be like either, but we have the here and now. Every day it gives us 86,400 seconds. There are 86,400 large and small opportunities. There are 86,400 moments to live. So we’d better try to make them special, at least as much as we can. Because we already know, life can change in a second.