Friday, 14 October 2016
The courage to change
The other day I was listening (via the net) to one of my favourite RRR Radio shows, Twang. A few years back that was my least favourite show, in fact I think at the time I would have had some strong words around how much I didn't like it. It's a country music show and though I was partial to a bit of Patsy Cline in the past I was adamant in my decision that I did not like country music. Now I do, a lot.
I won't bore you with anecdotal stories of my changing tastes, here's a partial list... they encompass food, music, approaches to meditation, expression of personality, hobbies, books and the list goes on. I'm sure you are the same. There are hair styles, clothing styles, nutritional habits, holiday destinations, going away for holidays vs not going away, garden designs and the list continues to go on.
Some of the changes happened gently and really quite without my noticing they and other changes required me to own them and that takes courage. We all have these changes that we need to own, the effect of embracing and owning these changes varies by degree. Whether we are homosexual, a hippy green voter, or the only one in the room of cat haters that loves cats... it is difficult to stand up and own who we are. It is even more difficult when what we need to own is different to what others know (and expect) us to be.
We have a mould cast for us and we cast our own moulds too, to break that mould, to be something else to be someone else takes courage. I think so many of us stay as we are because it is easier than changing. When we break moulds we break our lives. Often a change in how we related to the world means letting friendships go, moving to a different location, voting differently at the ballot, admitting that you like country music and cats (God help me).
Why is is to so hard? Is it because we fear the consequences of our owning a change? I think it is more to do with the fact that by owning a change we are to some degree admitting we were wrong. That's a hard thing for the ego to deal with. Here's how to make it easier.
Change happens because life is a flowing event, life is always in flux so it is not that we were wrong, we were right for that time and then we change to be right for a new time. It is not silly or weak or treacherous to change our colours, our ideas, our habits or our beliefs that is what life is for. Life is to be explored. We are alive to find out who we are and to make peace with ourselves. Who gets things right the very first time? Nobody. So we try this and we try that, we tweak this and we tweak that until we get it right.
So don't think in terms of admitting you were wrong, think in terms of tweaking and in terms of things being right for right now. Any change in who we present ourselves to be is only a reflection of how we are growing and changing within. Do you expect someone to wear the same baby clothes their whole life? No, they'd look ridiculous.
Holding onto our ethics, our values and building upon what we have created/realised previously in our lives offers us a guide and makes owning change easier. We all have essential qualities that are our own, such as kindness, honesty, courage, creative intelligence (etc) and holding onto such aspects of character help keep us on the level. No matter what change you are owning, you are still you. That is your anchor and that will never change. That is your safety.