I’m a firm believer that we are all a result of our lives up to this point in time, and that regardless of our current situation, we’re all capable of change.
What I mean is, everything we experience in our lives, the good and the bad, the positive and negative, has made us who we are at this exact moment. If any of those things in our past had gone differently, we wouldn’t be who we are or where we are right now.
For example, childhood trauma could be the reason you have relationship issues as an adult. Growing up around addiction could have made you prone to addiction. By comparison, growing up around healthy relationships could result in you having good relationships with others.
Unfortunately, we don’t always see the positive sides of ourselves. We generally notice the bad traits, the things we don’t like about ourselves. Selfishness, for example, or a tendency to overreact to certain situations. We see these things in ourselves and we’re usually embarrassed by them.
I like to say that everything in our past makes us who we are, but we don’t have to settle for being who we are.
Using myself as an example, I used to have a temper when I was younger. Chalk it up to immaturity, selfishness, and maybe a bit of Irish heritage. But I didn’t like that part of me. I didn’t like that little things would set me off and ruin my day. Cut off in traffic? Anger. Have to wait in line to get gas for my car? Anger.
I finally had enough of it. I had begun meditating regularly and the resulting introspection helped me to identify where this anger was coming from and how to diffuse it. It’s been over twenty years now and I can’t remember the last time I lost my temper. Sure, I can get annoyed by things, but I don’t allow inconveniences and petty things ruin my day or change my mood.
Right now, I’m working on a few more personal changes. For one, I’m exercising daily. I didn’t like that my age was catching up with my body. After six months I’m in the best shape ever, but I’m not stopping. This has changed my attitude and how I see myself. I want to go to my next physical and have my doctor tell me I’m in amazing shape for a 54-year-old.
You have to remember, it’s never too late to improve yourself, make yourself a better person. I think that if more people would take the time to self-assess and be honest with themselves, they’d find that they could be happier and more content with a few changes in their lives.
Yes, it takes effort, but in the end, it’ll be worth it.