There is lots of emphasis on being authentic and steady but is that helpful?
We have so many conversations about being real but too many of us are not. We do everything in our power to remain the same but nothing in life is that steady. No one remains static all their lives. No one ever remains the same all their lives. We change as we transit through the different phases of life but so often, we are so fixated on remaining the same that we miss the best parts of life.
Remember how hard it was to deal with not getting your way as a child that your threw every tantrum in the book to get your way? Remember how you rolled your eyes at your folks when you were mad or irritated as a teenager? Remember the flutter in your stomach when you saw that guy across the room or that girl walking and you knew you just had to be with them? Remember how you changed your behaviour to bag that relationship and keep your date happy? Remember settling into the marriage and wondering who or what you married because this wasn’t that person?
Remember how she had the little ones and just changed as if in a blink or how he became aloof with the arrival of the children? Remember the insecurity about that deal or job or layoff yet you tried to keep face no matter what? Remember how the folks sickness shifted your life but you had to be strong for everyone else?
There is an endless list of general life things that have affected you deeply.
We are raised to be strong, reliable, successful, with deep faith and engaged yet more than half the time we don’t have the capacity to be anything close to that. Life happens and we respond then people say, ah, you were never like that…what has happened? Or we call our folks and friends to say so and so has changed. Or the staff in the office or co-workers say they have never seen you like this.
There is a lot of pressure from those around us to remain reliable in the state they have always known us with the same intensity no matter what. We set ourselves on a path of improbability because the challenges, joys and sorrows of life work on us daily to shift how we see it and how we respond to it. Every smile, fight, disappointment, joy, success, failure, struggle etc. takes its toll on us and changes our responses even as we don’t always realise it.
The truth is…life changes us daily.
The changes we experience daily are often irreversibly, but we work diligently to cover it up and appear the same. We are so wired to be the same old same old that we do everything in our power to keep it so. Rest assured…you are not the same person you were yesterday because your experienced have altered something within you.
Every conversation should be a challenge to be different. Every tear shed should teach you something. Every thought and belief system challenged should lead to growth, therefore you cannot be the same person today that you were ten years ago, let alone yesterday. The intention in life is to transform with every situation to consistently become who God sees you as and that is rarely our focus.
We must accept daily change.
I look back to who I was in campus and who I am now. There are fundamental things that are the same (maybe about 20%), but is I am honest, I am nothing like the twenty year old who entered university all those years ago. There are people I fought with and detested then who have become an integral part of my life today. There are people who were my pillars of strength as few as four years ago who are nowhere on my radar now. There are clothes I loved, colours I wore, designs I cherished that I cannot stand today.
The changes only come to life when we actively assess life looking for our challenges and successes to see our responses and how we have changed. I can clearly see how I have changed in the last eighteen years including what drives me to anger and affects my moods to what drives me for work. I have to be honest that some people no longer appeal to me as people to hang around with because we have grown and changed then let go of the relationship.
Separation and change are an important part of growth.
As I stand aside and look within, I see things that need to change so I focus on that. As I focus on growing those who do not want to will either complain, walk away, or cheer me on. Some will deliberately try to make me mad or make a scene as they leave to see how much ‘love’ them. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
Lets be clear that I will not stop growing for you; neither will I expect you to stop growing for me. My only expectation of our connection is mutual growth and support that we may become the best version of ourselves. I am far from perfect so I will mess up and I will apologise, but I will keep walking no matter who or what does not like it. Do not be fooled by my calm demeanour or seeming inertia…it is the pool of my refreshment and growth. Do not be confused by the current ‘struggle’ that is my life; it is part of the process. Never doubt that I am committed to becoming more than I am today and tomorrow will be the foundation for the next day.
I have determined to change daily; how about you?