by Reverend Wayne Walder
We are transformed when something important changes within us, so that we feel and act differently. It is not always easy. It is not always pleasant. When we change deeply, we look, feel or act in unfamiliar ways. Death, joy, grief, loss, surprise, discovery and acceptance can change us so that we will never be the same again.
Maybe you can remember your child being born. In one moment, you met a tiny being that would change your entire life and alter how you viewed the world. Everything changed. Maybe you can remember losing a loved one. One moment they were there — and then, they were not. Grief touches you and the texture of your life changes. When we are disappointed, when we experience an injury, or when we are given an amazing gift, we can feel changed.
Discovery, acceptance, loss or joy can be like that. These experiences challenge our expectations of life, they change our perceptions, they alter our days. And we are transformed. This is different from a whimsical touch. It is different from a “good day”. It is different from saying “awesome!” When we are transformed, we see the world differently. It is not always our choice. Yet it can be.
For example, Baba Ram Dass, the famous guru of the 1960s and 70s, tells stories about how transformation can occur when we try to “be here now”. Being in the moment stops our struggle between expectations and our everyday reality. Often this simple but profound insight can help us let go of expectations that cloud our vision of who we are and what we can do. It can offer us a transformation of how we think and how we define ourselves.
This year the theme of Our Human Journey has moved through conversations about Wisdom, Shadows, Taking Risks, Inspiration and more. As we deepen to these stops on our human journey, we hope to find insight so we can risk a transformation in our lives. This transformation can help us deepen. Then, as it always has, it can help us find ways to build the common good.