Not everyone likes change. Some are comfortable precisely where they are and prefer to stay within their comfort zone. Others are more adventurous and enjoy a good challenge. They are more open to trying new things in order to experience something new or perhaps to learn something that will positively impact their life. There is one change, however, that everyone resists: that is when others tell us we must be someone other than who we are. They may try to persuade us to change our way of thinking or the way in which we do things. Those with low self-esteem or who are fearful of rejection may succumb to the demands of others. For everyone else, it is arrogant and disrespectful to ask anyone to be anything other than who they are. Yet deep down inside, we know that everything in the universe is in a constant state of flux and that the opposite of movement is stagnation. So is it possible to actually change without changing? Consider the following:
What can’t I change? First and foremost, I need to acknowledge who I am. I am a child of God, a sacred creation of the Divine Source of Love. Who I am intrinsically is pre-ordained. Just as I cannot change my DNA which is given to me by my biological parents, neither can I alter my inherent nature. I am love; I am kindness; I am forgiveness; I am all that is sacred and holy. I am one with Divine Energy. I may be athletic or artistic, shy or gregarious, spontaneous or cautious. I may possess a propensity for that which is contrary and bring it forth to some degree but I can never amend my fundamental self, nor is it necessary since God only creates perfection.
What I do have the ability to change without changing myself are the following:
Perception: I can alter the way in which I perceive life, individuals, myself, and situations. Since it is my perception, and not reality, that dictates the choices I make I can teach myself to view all of the above from a more insightful and truthful perspective. I can remove judgments of those who differ from me and replace them with understanding and acceptance. I can look at all of life’s challenges and injustices as opportunities in disguise. Each can be a gift for me, thus enabling me to be more appreciative and less angry at their appearance in my life. I can remove the notion that life is unfair and view it for what it really is: exactly fair. Each of us gets exactly what is necessary for our personal and spiritual growth. I can see myself though the eyes of patience and compassion rather than condemn myself for my perceived flaws and mistakes.
Attitude: Attitude is easier to change than most realize. Attitude is a combination of what we think and how we feel. All feelings come from the thoughts we choose to entertain in our mind – our internal dialog, what we say to ourselves. A bad or negative attitude can ruin my day, sabotage my relationships, impact my health and success in life, and overall make me miserable. If I cannot change my circumstances I can certainly change my attitude about them.
Behavior: It is also necessary to change my behaviors at times. I would not consider behaving as I did when I was three years old or as I did as a teenager. As I grow and mature, periodically it is necessary to re examine how I do things, how I treat others, and how I treat myself. In any given situation and with each specific individual, I may need to alter my actions in order to better accommodate each.
But why should I change? As I stated before, the opposite to change is inertia, being motionless. When water becomes stagnant it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and the stench is repugnant. Water that is in a state of motion supports life. Change allows for growth and improvement not only for the individual but for all those affected as well. When I change my perception, I can view an issue as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. My attitude enables me to take a positive approach to life verses a pessimistic one, thereby ensuring I more fully enjoy my time on this Earth. When I readjust my behaviors, I make smarter choices that result in greater rewards and fewer consequences in every aspect of my life.
One would not consider wearing the same items of clothing day after day. Changing one’s clothing is necessary for good personal hygiene plus our wardrobe also impacts how we feel about ourselves and how the world perceives us. And it affects the nature of our relationships as well.
Periodically, it’s healthy to replace worn out clothing or items that no longer fit us with more suitable attire. So it is with periodically changing our perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. Each one impacts our mental outlook on life, the choices we make, and the way in which we interact with one another. Through a process of change and growth, we can continually improve our lives and experience greater happiness and more inner peace. And that eliminates anger.
So go ahead and change but don’t change a single thing about you. Intrinsically, you’re perfect just the way you are.
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