“My life will never be the same”.  The media pushes stories of grief and shock, of tragedy and anguish over and over again until we seem awash in devastation.  Because it sells advertising.  Because, like a police officer giving a ticket, a car wreck on the side of the road, or any kind of real or metaphorical train wreck, we aren’t able to tear ourselves away from the story. And so we know what it looks like, what it sounds like, when things change dramatically.  And most of us, in one way or another, will experience sudden and drastic change, whether it is by choice or by chance.  So in a way our listening and watching these events unfold is a way to form community.  To say, “yes, I’ve been there too.  I’m not alone in this.”

But when the shock and grief and pain fade, what then?  What do we do?  It’s normal to need time to adjust to change.  It takes time to incorporate the new status of your life, to feel and acknowledge and truly know what was and what now is.  And do you do while that is going on?  I suggest that you start over.  Take apart the components of your life.  See what is broken, what can be saved, what is still solid.  Look at what new has been added.  See what new you want to add.  Take stock of who you are now and start rebuilding from there.

Like working with an altar, taking it apart isn’t a death, it’s a chance to be thankful for all that it has given you and all it has done.  Cleaning and clearing the space where it resided is a chance to regroup, prepare, become centered in who you are now and what you are creating for the future.  Putting together the new altar allows you to incorporate what has been and what will be into a most beautiful now.  Change is ever-present.  It’s one of the few constants in life.  It’s how we work with it, how we express our feelings around it, how we grow and become through it, that defines our lives.