“The old woman I shall become will be quite different from the woman I am now. Another I is beginning.” ~ George Sand, Isadora …
Our lives can be broken down into chapters–childhood, teenage years, young adulthood, adulthood, parenthood with young children, parenthood with older children, post-parenthood, and so on down the line. And although the idea of ending one chapter of our lives and beginning a new one might be frightening for some–for many of us grow accustomed and comfortable with who we are, what we know and believe, what we like and do not like, how we react–it can also be very liberating and inspiring as it means that we never have to cease growing and becoming.
No matter what our condition may be–even if we are stuck in a rut or living in self-destructive, ruinous, and harmful ways–we can always choose to start anew. But we must be open to learning, growing, and changing in positive ways, which is actually quite simple; we can constantly reinvent ourselves in ways that are healthy and uplifting and make a difference in our lives and the lives of those around us. The old me of a year ago is not the same me today, and I fully expect the me of next year to be significantly different as well. After all, I learned a lot over the last several months and I will learn even more in the coming few, and I truly hope that those lessons will have a strong positive effect in my life.
This is perhaps one of the strongest reasons that we should not hold grudges against others; people change, and something hurtful done to me several years ago does not necessarily apply today. In truth, there really is no excuse for us to be angry at that younger version of someone, who more than likely has learned from his or her mistake and no longer harbors ill feelings towards us anyways. Of course, holding grudges is also a poison that usually affects us alone, as often times the other individual is living their life unaware of our feelings of anger or resentment.
Be open to learning and growing at all stages of life. No matter where you are now, challenge yourself to adopt new thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and ways of being. I still have a difficult time keeping my workspace tidy and cleaning up after myself, but I am constantly working on becoming better at it. At the same time, I am also trying to become more accepting of my messiness and seeing as an extension of my creativity, and so I am becoming new in spite of my continued messiness. If we truly desire to leave this Earth a more compassionate, loving, merciful, forgiving, humble, balanced, generous, and wiser individual, then there is no better time than now to begin taking beneficial steps, and making positive changes, to who we are.
Find some areas for positive improvement in your life.
Questions to consider:
What is so frightening about changing who we are and what we think?
In what ways might we go about looking for and finding areas in our lives that are ripe for change?
Do you want to be exactly the way you are now when you are older?
For further thought:
“Development can indeed continue beyond childhood and youth, beyond midlife, up to and beyond the seventies. It can continue until the very end of life, given purposes that challenge and use our human abilities; given exercise of that individuation, that autonomy, that can be ours at childhood’s end. . . . In sum, our development does not necessarily end at any age. We can continue to develop into our eighties, even to our nineties. We can use our own unique mix of human energies and abilities for purposes we now have to find for ourselves, as long as our environment permits it, until a short period just before death.” ~ Betty Friedan, Fountain of Age