Life often feels like the consistent rediscovery of the self. At many points in our lives, I think we are met with challenges, changes, and circumstances that lead us to forget who we are. Or perhaps, we are met with moments that we find who we thought we were no longer serves us (or even exists). We grow out of friendships, grow out of styles, grow out of goals, and grow out of ourselves. I think this has been my favorite part of life so far. Due to many personality traits and anxiety disorder, I often find myself in positions where I can either A.) Continue down a path that will keep things as they are and stay who I have claimed to be while feeling the dissonance, or B.) I can acknowledge that I have grown out of a self that no reflects who I am and can let change happen to grow into who I want to be.
In my unsolicited opinion, this is the most fantastic part of being human. Flowers emerge from a seed, grow tall, bloom, and then die in a matter of weeks, months, and if you have a green thumb like my mother, maybe they last years. As humans, we are like flowers that continuously grow and re-bloom, consistently evolving, and by doing so, our world becomes. Think how you feel during a rainstorm versus during a bright, shiny spring day. Just that mindset can alter your world. Now, I understand how this can sound as if I am suggesting we are consistently picking and choosing who we want to be. And in a way, I am suggesting that, but with a few boundaries.
There is a clear difference between making change happen and allowing change to happen. There is a difference between a feeling change being mandatory for freedom and that change is a chosen pathway. Firstly, most of the time, if we could choose to make change happen, we would. If we knew the step needed to make us endlessly joyful, wealthy, and fulfilled--we would take such steps. How come that doesn’t happen? My hypothesis is because change is a part of life, not something we can wield. Like a cold in the winter months, or a fight with a loved one, they just happen, and those are the moments where we can choose how we act, listen, and deal with a situation. When change interrupts the conversation of life, what will you do? Secondly, there is a big difference between just changing yourself to achieve something and wanting change to grow into who you are and honoring that person. The former suggests something to fix, that something is broken, or that there is a flaw to be smoothed over. The latter claims that what was once who you were held great value but is no longer needed for survival; this wanting of change to honor yourself look at your reflection and says, “You did well. Now, how about we take what you’ve taught us, and we make things easier, more empowered, and more authentically you?” Finally, the difference between thinking change is mandatory and it being a chosen pathway to freedom. Here is the skinny; yes, change is going to happen regardless if you want it to or not. The choice we have is whether a change will be made through our kicking and screaming, fighting against the pushback, or choosing to let change be a pathway to freedom. Imagine becoming aware of when change is necessary, and instead of hitting a low point in your life to realize you need to make a change finally.
Sometimes rock-bottom is the best teacher that motivates us, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I don’t encourage you to force change, but welcome it. If you find you may be growing out of yourself, take a moment and think about who you might be growing into.
You are enough.