Just Because You Change Your Mind Doesn’t Mean You Were Wrong

Previously, I posted a piece entitled The Imbalance of Rigidity which started to explore the topic of holding onto fixed ideas despite changing circumstances. As an extension of this concept, I’d like to delve into the world of redefinition.

 

As Re-booters, something about our lives has been nagging at us that feels not quite right. We are compelled towards change, but we’re not necessarily clear on what to do. Most often, this need for change presents itself at a most inconvenient time—plus, it can feel terrifying!  Feeling as though we’re running as fast as our little legs can carry us, time for envisioning another way around the racetrack is in short supply. Life unfolds at such a fast pace, we’re just lucky if we can keep up.

 

But, not only does life evolve, but we do, as well. Our understanding of how the world works adjusts as we gain experience. Our bodies change. Our needs change. Our connections to people change. You don’t have the same relationship with your fifteen year old as you did when he was five, do you? Of course not! As your child has grown and matured, you’ve modified the way you think about them, talk with them, relate to them.

 

Now, take that experience and apply it to yourself: how might you re-assess your life in the context of your current needs and strengths? How might you allow your mature insight to shift your perspective and guide your overall growth? Let’s start with an easy example: remember some thing you fervently coveted as a teenager, but now the having it or not having it makes no difference to you? We all can think of something. For me, I wanted a red, Chrysler Le Baron convertible. Did I ever get it? No. And, as eye popping and glamorous as a red convertible can be, now all I think about is what a mess my hair would look after tooling around in one.

 

Let’s segue into more difficult terrain related to reconsidering our opinions and stances on an issue: how might you re-define and manage your relationship to challenging relatives if you study them from the wisdom and perspective of who you are today, as opposed to the powerless child you were back then? Might you now have more patience and be able to let a lot more provocation roll off your back if you didn’t haul around all that baggage? What about redefining your relationship to your past? Do you still need to nurse that old disappointment? Is it possible that, maybe, you somehow benefitted from this let down? Does it still have to mean “so much?”

 

Allowing ourselves to perceive things differently can feel terrifying because we fear it signals that we were “wrong” to feel the way we did; but that’s not what I’m suggesting. What I’m suggesting is that you are a different person now, so it can be reasonable to shift how you think about things to match the person you are today. I’m not talking about historical revisionism; I’m saying that there may be other, valid interpretations. You are not stuck with your childish perspective! This extends to how we think about our mistakes and our successes. Was what you failed to achieve  really so devastating in light of what you know now? Even if everyone around you holds tight to the definitions and standards from their past, that shouldn’t discourage you from reconsidering these things. Most people do not ask themselves these questions because they’re either too afraid to do so or it simply never occurs to them that their lives could be lived otherwise—you’re reading this post because you’re not afraid of the hard work that accompanies such questions.

 

Re-defining our role to others, to our past, to our mistakes and successes is part of the flex needed to keep balance in our life and a benefit of our overall growth.

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One Response to “Just Because You Change Your Mind Doesn’t Mean You Were Wrong”

  1. Julie Says:

    But what if I am still stuck with my childish perspective?

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