Can We Change?
For the last couple of weeks the topic “we are who we are” has been very much on my mind. Using myself as the basis for my thinking I wondered how many of the changes that have taken place in my process and behavior belong to age and how many to an investment in my own development. Followed by the question am I still the same girl who grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil just older and wiser?
I believe the answer is yes. The attributes you found on that girl are still this girl. The difference being, I know myself quite well now. I’ve been tested in many different situations in my life and have walked through all of them with consciousness. I have invested time, money and energy to figure out what made that little girl happy and what made her angry.
What’s important in all of this is that I no longer try to end/destroy that which I don’t like about myself. When it raises its head, I acknowledge its existence – as I would with a petulant child – and then with my knowledge and wisdom I do what I think it is right. I don’t let the petulant child dominate the situation. That’s the crucial difference.
I don’t believe we fundamentally change. We learn to live and to relate with the parts of ourselves that cause us trouble and anguish. We become understanding mothers of troubled children. We soothe their anxiety without being run down by them.
That is why, I’m often skeptical of self-help books. Not only usually push us towards being someone else, but also read as a cookie cutter manual. They usually ignore that each one of us is a unique individual with our own way to process life. Following three exercises or repeating to ourselves how wonderful we are won’t fool our true nature. The only way out is in. We have to spend time with the only being which will accompany us in through our journey; ourselves.
But, what is a universal truth is that acknowledging who we are and learning to deal with our own issues is within the realm of possibility to each one of us. We can all have a more satisfying life. We just need to be honest and compassionate.