Are you your missing leg?

Are you your missing leg?
Photo by Greg Rosenke / Unsplash

Change isn't always difficult. There are lots of things about change I adore. I like getting pay raises. I like getting job promotions. I like it when my partner organizes a surprise event for us.  

And I like driving change. I like seeing gaps in quality and setting about improving and fixing them and changing others' lives for what I see as better.

What's harder is any change imposed upon me. Change that I don't see benefits in. My initial instinct is to rage against the machine, stand up to the tank, plastic bag in hand. On these days, the struggle is deep. The sense of injustice is so strong.

I recognize there's an element of grief here due to some loss and that with it comes the five stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Meditation encourages me to look at this change in a different light. It encourages me to acknowledge and accept these strong feelings to come to a place of acceptance. Acceptance that the status quo has changed. Accept that these changes are outside of my control. And, importantly, acceptance that I, the person, still exist. So yes, I've lost something tangible, but what makes 'me' me still exists and remains untouched.  

I struggle to come to this place of acceptance. Instead, I feed my rage and anger by focusing on what is lost. But through meditation, I've realised that in doing so, I'm chaining myself to the exact thing I hate. Wouldn't it suit me better to focus on what I have? Who am I?

If I allow myself to focus on who 'I am" rather than what I've lost, I open myself to joy and opportunity at what might be.  

This all looks frustratingly simple on paper. Yet, I struggle daily to achieve even five moments of this peace. But I know my experience tells me that those five minutes will gradually stretch to ten or fifteen until there will be days I forget I have a missing limb and instead walk with pride and joy at the ability to experience life.  

Meditations I've found useful

Resources ~ RAIN: Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture
The acronym RAIN is an easy-to-remember tool for practicing mindfulness & compassion using four steps: Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture.

Finally, I know I come from a privileged position in writing this at a time when thousands are experiencing layoffs in tech that is affecting income, family, and visa holders. I am not attempting to speak on your behalf, diminish what you're going through, or advise you on how you should feel or act. Instead, this is a personal reflection on the change happening to me and how I'm trying to work through it.