It all adds up to you.
As we grow, we change. We all know that to be true. When someone says “You are not the person you used to be.” I say, “I certainly hope not!” To think that I could have lived and loved, and experienced life; without being changed in some way would be, in a word, unacceptable.
The Ingredients of Life
Life is made up experiences. Those experiences are the ingredients that make us the person we are. What we experience changes us. Now, maybe what we were is not completely erased, but as new experiences are added to our person, we tend to view life through a slightly different lens.
Experiences can result in beliefs becoming more firmly entrenched in our lives, or abandoned altogether. Personalities that we used to be drawn to may now be repelling us. Possessions we once held dear may not mean as much as they once did. All of these things happen as a result of experiences.
Letting Go of the Old You
The hard part for many of us is letting go of the person we used to be and embracing the person we are. Letting go of those old friendships and embracing the new ones can be hard, but we are all called upon to do it as we grow. As you live and grow, don’t be afraid of the changes. Embrace them.
This really isn’t such a terrible thing. How many of you still sleep with your teddy bear? (If you do…no offense intended!) Most of us who were inseparable from our stuffed sleeping companion as children have since moved on to sleeping alone, or with a companion of flesh and blood. It is a change, but not one that we consider bad. Most of the personal growth and changes we will experience can be equated with that illustration. We grow, we progress, we mature; and as we do, our personalities, and needs change as well.
Resisting The Pressure to Conform
Not everyone will be thrilled with the changes in your life. Old friends may resist your growth, especially if you are outpacing them, or changing in an area they find unacceptable. While advice from friends can be useful, never let someone else define the person you are. Be true to you, even if that means embracing a change in your lifestyle, beliefs, or even friendships. Giving someone else the right to define you will only lead to heartache.
If you find yourself growing apart from old beliefs or friends, don’t be alarmed. Take stock of the direction your life is headed. If you are happy with yourself and the direction you are going, and you are not doing any harm to yourself or others, then don’t accept the guilt from others. You will find that if one friend will not accept the person you have become, there is another person out there just waiting to be your friend. Keep growing. Keep living. Life changes you. Isn’t that awesome!
What do you think? Do you view change as a negative thing? Are you constantly trying to hold on to the “way things have always been?” Do you think that a lack of willingness to embrace change has led to a lack of personal growth in your life? What part does society or peer pressure play in those changes? I would love to hear what you have to say on the subject. Please take a moment and let me know. Your feedback is valuable.