It’s sad to hear people express fear when it comes to change. It’s even sadder when others try to suppress someone’s growth by viewing change as a negative thing.
Of course we may want to stay the same in specific areas of our life. For example, when it comes to remembering where we came from and staying humble. Or, adherence to our core values and belief systems. More importantly, staying consistent in terms of our actions when it comes to matters of the heart. We should be responsible, dependable and committed when it comes to our loved ones – and honest in our relationships.
Yet if we look candidly at ourselves, I think we can all admit that despite those efforts, we still change. It’s inevitable!
Too often we feel this need to define ourselves, to put a label on so that we know who we are. Then we feel the need to stay there – stifling our potential.
These labels and expectations that we, and others, place on us are not always healthy. Goals are important and achievement does result in higher self-confidence and self-esteem however, when it is a box that we force ourselves to fit into, it can grow confining. We shrink ourselves down until there’s nothing left of us and we can’t breathe, killing our spirit.
An old friend’s daughter shifted gears when she graduated from college and made the decision to leave the field she’d majored in. It was not well-received and I couldn’t understand why. The degree is important because that is an educational foundation, but it doesn’t mean you need to be held hostage by a major that doesn’t fit who you are in the real world. Very few know what they want to do at the college age – and some never know! It takes courage to change direction and spread your wings, something I loudly applaud. Try, and try again until you find whatever it is that fits.
Be brave, be bold, be fearless.
I used to want to define myself. I craved an elevator pitch to sum me up in ten words or less. With age, I’ve thankfully outgrown that and appreciate the eccentric person I am along with the eclectic tastes I have. Life wore me down for a bit, but I came back with an insatiable appetite to pursue a variety of passions and interests. When I stopped trying to make a lifeless relationship work, I was resurrected. When I stopped trying to force myself to be anything other than who I am, I was liberated and set free. When I grew comfortable in my own skin and slowly reignited the joy I’d always found in the simplest of pleasures, I discovered an inner peace that was so much more than happiness. It is a satisfaction that is felt deep within your soul.
The reality is life is an endless stream of new experiences, from minor shifts in our day to major milestones and events. Change is inevitable – and can be good for us. Even when it is not, there is almost always a lesson to be found if you can take a step back and look from the outside in. Don’t let yourself get stuck and be sure to build relationships with those who can grow with you, accept you for who you are and love the person you will continue to become year after year.
We should not be rushing to find a destination, to reach an end or suppress our innermost desires and dreams – we are on a journey, so be sure to explore along the way. We all know what’s at the end, so don’t rush it by dying while you’re still alive.
And let your spirit soar.