Some say, people don’t change. Perhaps they are right. I believe that people do change. Given the right circumstances, support, information, and an ability to surrender the old, change will occur. I don’t claim to know much about science however, I am under the impression that not even our cells stay the same for longer than seven years and in fact we are mutating all of the time. Perhaps we each appear to look a certain way predetermined by our genetic makeup all of our life, yet life circumstances can happen in such a way that even our outer appearance changes, sometimes by choice and sometimes not. So, why does this shared social belief that people don’t change exist at all?
People, in a general, are most definitely afraid of change. Change is after all going from the known to unknown, and yes this can be frightening, even if we know what awaits us on the other side. It is when we don’t know that which awaits us on the other side that our fear creates resistance. Take death for example, the one thing that we will all face without a doubt, and most commonly the last conversation any of us want to have. Death is the ultimate form of change for us living beings as on the other side of this mortal life is a true complete unknown. Sure there have been centuries of postulating and philosophizing upon what awaits us after death, and for as many lives that have breathed fresh air upon this Earth there are opinions of what awaits in the great beyond. More likely than not, we will not ever know what is on the other side until we get there, however, in the knowing it is coming for us I wonder will we as a race ever become more comfortable with discussing death openly and embracing it’s absoluteness. Facing death without fear is a mirror of facing change without resistance. It is resistance to change and the fear that resistance generates that predisposes us to a belief that people don’t change. For if we allowed others to change we too would have to accept our ability to change, and or, our own resistance to it.
I postulate and philosophize about many things, the capacity to change is a topic I have spent much time on. In my own life, I have found it far more satisfying to leave room for people to change. Leaving room for others to change, grow, or evolve lightens the burden upon my shoulders of never being able to forgive, empathize, and be compassionate about the circumstances of other people’s lives. Leaving room for others to change also supports my own pursuit of personal growth and evolution, in effect allowing room for me to forgive myself my transgressions and behaviors which lead to self limitation and outward judgment. In my pursuit of a greater understanding of personal evolution, and human nature I believe that change is inevitable and is in fact one of the primary journeys of human being, for it is in adapting that we become more like that which is the essence of all, that which is always in a state of transformation and change. As we become more comfortable with surrendering the old idea of ourselves for the new experience unfolding in every moment, the old stories for the new ones, the small ideas for the more spacious ones, we essentially are dying all of the time. On the other side of our always-dying experience is the miraculous state of resurrection, a new self, untainted by the stains of the old story. Is this the fundamental point to the story of Jesus’s resurrection, that we too can be one with the divine when we allow ourselves to die and be reborn anew in any moment? I believe it is.
People do change, some only very little bits closed in their minds and their beings to their own great potential, others every moment of every day.
How does one change you may find yourself asking? A good place to start is in the moment; ask yourself what can you set down right now to lighten your load. Maybe it is a thought, maybe it is a belief, and maybe it’s a relationship? I recommend letting go of that which frightens you most when you think of surrendering it. One thing is sure, that whatever you let go of today will change your tomorrow.
“Just because I liked something at one point in time doesn’t mean I’ll always like it, or that I have to go on liking it at all points in time as an unthinking act of loyalty to who I am as a person, based solely on who I was as a person. To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think. The only thing I am for sure is unsure, and this means I’m growing, and not stagnant or shrinking.”