WHAT’S YOUR CONSTANT?
Everyone knows that the world is changing. We are changing and our lives are changing. The way we eat, work, play, sleep, wake up, learn, and basically everything else is changing over time. So yes, everything is changing, almost.
CHANGES & CONSTANTS
For many of us, one of these constants is a person, e.g. one of your parents, or both, or a sibling or maybe a good friend you have known since childhood. Someone with whom you know exactly what you will get when you reach out. It could be a kind word, an honest opinion, a hug or something completely different.
Your constant in life could also be a place where you when you go there, know you will find peace, clarity, rest or whatever you associate with that specific place.
Constants don’t necessarily need to be something tangible. It could also be a routine you do. Some repeated ritual that has enforced itself as something you turn to for stability, accountability, help, comfort, release, peace, or whatever that specific habit brings.
Please note, that this article only covers constants which brings positivity into your life. Some could claim that turning to drugs, alcohol, violence, or anything in this category can be considered a constant but I disagree. These things have no place in a healthy mind and body and will not be discussed any further here.
WHY IS HAVING A CONSTANT IMPORTANT?
Please keep in mind that I am not a psychiatrist. I am just a 55-year-old man who has had my fair share of ups and downs which have given me a certain amount of experience in dealing with these things; the ups and downs. Throughout the years, I have had my need to reach out for help, reach out for dry land, grasping for something solid to rely on and hold onto until the "storm" has passed.
My own constants have always been something I have reached out for when needed and when major changes in my life have happened, I know I could turn to my constants to feel grounded. To feel at home.
WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?
Creating constants to fulfil this need can happen subconsciously as well as consciously.
The constants which are created subconsciously are those who over time manifest themselves as something important in your life. These are often represented as a person or a place, but it can also be a routine. In general, you cannot decide to make a person or a place a constant to whom or where you can go, that you can listen to, talk to, feel, embrace, hug, kick, sit on, drive in, ride on, or whatever you can do when you need it. These constants need time to become established. It is something that happens by itself, over time. It is something that comes naturally. This is not something you can force. That kind of lies in the nature of subconscious actions, right?
You will easily identify them when you look back, but you cannot start looking forward by naming something or someone a constant to fill that position.
However, the constants you create consciously are different. Often in life, you may be faced with challenges that require you to act and, in those situations, creating a habitual routine is a great way to establish a constant.
Examples of this type of constants could be yoga, meditation, sleep, an exercise regime, or a nutrition plan just to mention a few. These are all activities in which you can find support, comfort, relaxation, or whatever you need and know from experience you will obtain from it.
READY TO FIND YOURS?
Having a place, a person, or a routine as a constant are just examples and it might be that you have not thought about this before at all, but I am sure that if you do, you will most likely come up with a handful of constants from your own life.
If you don’t already know who or what your constants are, you can easily identify those by letting your mind go back in time and try to identify those moments of despair you have faced and to whom or to what you turned for help.
I will advise you to take notes when you start thinking about what your own constants are, as this makes it easier to add items to the list and also to remove stuff you initially thought were important to you but at second thoughts, it wasn’t. Maybe the latter was just a spin-off from habitual behaviour and not that important to you at all.
Please note that the keyword here is important or importance.
When you do this exercise, think about something you revisit again and again and something you wouldn’t be comfortable being without. A good example for some could be the Holy Book of their religion, while for others it could be a worn-out Teddy Bear.
The importance of making your list of constants is not so much for you to take out and look at every now and then. The list is only meant as a help to jog your memory for those special nuggets of support you use from time to time.
When you look at what's left on your list after you have added and removed items, you will most likely not find any surprises. However, if there are any names of specific persons on your list, right now i.e. immediately is the perfect time for you to reach out and show your sincere appreciation for what he or she means to you.
I think I will call my mom right now...
And oh, I hope you will feel compelled to share your list with me by leaving a comment below.
MY OWN CONSTANTS
As described already, constants can be present as persons, places, things, and routines.
My primary constant is my parents. They have always been there for me in times of trouble, sorrow, and happiness. Like most mothers I guess, my mom is always ready to listen to me and offer some advice on the present situation I am in. It is of course not always good advice, sorry mom, but that is not the point. The important bit is that she is never rejecting my need for a chat and that is what makes her a constant to me.
I do not have any places that I can consider a constant. I have moved too many times the last ten years that I care to remember, internationally as well as locally so I do not have a specific spot that brings me comfort to visit. I might even have the exact opposite as I own a place in Denmark which brings me no pleasure or other positive feelings when I visit, so that might be a constant to me, but not a positive one.
It is worth noting that constant certainly can be a place that changes. As an example, your bedroom or home office can be a constant even if you move into a new house. If you have used that specific room as a place of constant, it may not be important how it looks physically. As long as you know that being in that space will provide you with a certain feeling, it may prove to be a constant in your life.
Another constant I have in my life is the British band Marillion. They are the best-kept secret in the music industry but to me, they are of great importance. It is not that I am a superfan, attending all their concerts, wearing Marillion t-shirts or anything like that. I just like their music and have been a listener more than a follower for close to 35 years. They have been with me all the way from my very early twenties.
I listen to Marillion every week and when I do, I know what kind of feelings each specific album awakens in me. This means that I definitely choose the album based on which feelings I am looking for.
I will not bother you with examples of profound lyrics from their long lines of albums, but I will leave you with one example of their ability to tell a story.
The song Ocean Cloud is about Donald Allum, who was the first (and so far, only) person to row the Atlantic Ocean in both directions. A lack of water on his penultimate trip damaged his organs and ultimately killed him, but not before he managed a third historic voyage.
This version is recorded live and it is, in my humble opinion, absolutely brilliant. Not a second too long, despite going on for more than seventeen minutes.
At 6:02 you can literally "hear" the sun shimmering on the waves, a storm rolling in from the distance, and "see" the rain front approaching!