How Letting Go of Rigid Self-Perception Frees You Up to Be Yourself
Who are you? You aren’t the same person you were ten years ago, that’s for sure. You aren’t even the same person you were yesterday. You’ve changed – and that’s a good thing.
See, life happens, people change. That’s how the world works, but not everyone can deal with that. There are those who balk at change, any change – especially when it’s personal. They have this idea of who they are (or who they wish they were) and they won’t let it go, no matter how that self-perception keeps them mired in an unhealthy, stagnant limbo where they never realize their full potential. They never discover who they truly are.
Everywhere you look there are people telling you to “find yourself” as if it is a finite pursuit. The message is so steeped in our culture no one even notices how diametrically opposed to reality it is. You find yourself and that’s it; you’re done. Forget the life experiences ahead that will shape and mold you. Never mind that the truth is every single moment in your life colors the next you that you will become.
A Human Becoming
We’re all “human beings,” right? Consider this. When you are “being” that indicates staying in one place. Perhaps “human becoming” is a more appropriate term because that is what we, you, are – becoming, constantly. You are evolving into the next version of yourself, whatever that looks like. Every single experience you have has the power to change you, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Life is constantly moving and as humans we are caught up in that motion. Move with it or fight against it; it’s your choice.
Think of it as being on a ship on the ocean. When the seas rage and you fight the wheel to steer against it, you’ll become tired and frustrated – and you’ll sink. However, if you loosen your grip and gently guide the ship with the flow of the sea, you may discover a certain peace and calm in the midst of it all.
You’ll see things that you would have otherwise missed because you were too busy trying to tame the sea.
And that is how you should greet the person you see in the mirror every morning, whether it’s the same one you saw yesterday or someone you barely recognize. It’s about learning to embrace that person, that version of you and celebrate the changes that life has introduced. That is the core principle of a human becoming.
Make the Most of Each Experience
If your experiences shape you, then you are a mixture of the good and the bad that has happened in your life. But if you see that only in the black and white of “bad” and “good,” then you need to change your view. Bad brings destruction, death, victimhood, but when you see the negatives in life as growth opportunities, as chances to learn, connect, understand, and empathize it opens a door to freedom and growth.
Find yourself? Sure. But don’t get stuck there. Find yourself today, then find yourself again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Of course you need to know who you are, but remember, a young, green, living twig will bend when the wind blows, but a brittle, dry, dead stick will break.
Which are you? Are you so caught up in your self-perception that change will break you? Or are you flexible like that living twig, able to bend and move with each new version of yourself?
If there is one lesson to learn in life, it’s this: you must be able to get along with yourself. Whoever that person is, you have to make peace with them, accept them, learn to love them – and each new version. That is where peace and joy reside. So, allow every experience to etch its lesson upon your heart and spirit, changing you into the next best version of yourself.
Change is beautiful.