WE’RE ALWAYS CHANGING.
Sure, you might say, of course we’re getting older: the molecules that make up our bodies are always moving, and our cells are being impacted by the environment and the food we eat and stress we experience, and it’s all happening so subtly we don’t even realize it until we look at an old photo of ourselves and compare it to what we see in the mirror.
But how about something as simple and seemingly benign as the act of sharing something about ourselves with another person? We’ve also changed by doing this – something shifts in us as soon as we’ve shared it.
The act of sharing something involves also our perception of the other person’s reaction (verbal comments, facial expression, body language) and how we feel about sharing it (perhaps vulnerable, relieved, angry, nervous). All of these things impact us a little and something shifts inside us.
We’ve changed a little in that experience, even if we don’t think we have.
Even the ideas and inspiration we have that aren’t shared with anyone, and the thoughts that pass through our minds as we consider what has been said or done or what we might do – the tiniest reflex, the response within ourselves to these things – they have an impact on us that has us ever-so-slightly changed from that brief experience.
If we are always changing simply through our thoughts and our communication with others, then we’re always a little different than we were just a moment ago, aren’t we?
IF WE’RE ALWAYS CHANGING, THEN AREN’T OTHERS CHANGING AS WELL, based on their thoughts and interactions and experiences? Isn’t everyone just a little different than they were a few moments ago?
That other person – our friend, acquaintance, boss, colleague, clerk in the business we frequent – we remember to be a certain way from our last interaction: isn’t it possible that things have shifted for them as they’ve learned and experienced and had thoughts and interacted with people? Might they have changed a little, themselves?
But we crave to know how things are and to define them.
Take words, for example: we want to define them and think of them as static and one singular way. But as they get used, their ‘definition’ changes over time – just check a dictionary from 100 years ago compared to today. Definitions of words evolve and change over time to reflect how they’re used.
We have a tendency to want to fit words, things, and even people into nice little packages: this person is like that, this means that, they’ll react this way, this is what they’ll say – this is just how they are.
While there may be some truth in this – that is, people aren’t daily making complete 180-degree changes, and some of their core values and attributes might stay fairly constant from day to day and even year to year – it’s helpful to remain open to the possibility that people have changed, just as we have.
Inviting you to see how the idea of each of us being in a continual process of change lands for you, and notice if there’s a way it might help you have greater compassion and flexibility in your interactions today. ❤