Evolution of the self
“The Only Constant in Life Is Change.”Heraclitus
“New year, new me!”
I’m not too fond of that saying.
The reason being I believe that is because we are constantly evolving. It is through this evolution that we find a better version of ourselves. Whether of a species or of self, evolution does not have a specific timeline. It is not dictated by a day on the calendar. It moves at its own pace and is specific to the individual and their experiences.
Change does not happen overnight
Just as some single-celled organisms never evolved beyond their original state and others become highly complex species like home sapiens, our minds and spirits are the same.
Humans and evolution have something in common; they are unpredictable. We all follow similar psychological rules and physiological responses, we have many of the same desires and needs, but we all have different wants.
An example of my evolution
Until the age of eight, I went to church 2-3 times a week.
Initially, I went with my older brother and our step-sister.
Over time they stopped attending, and I was attending alone. I also started becoming more aware of the people who attended and how other people in my life were different.
I started asking questions that could not be answered by the pastor’s wife, who taught our Sunday school classes. The average church answers were not enough for me. I had read my Bible, prayed about it, and yet that’s all I was being told to do.
One Sunday, I sat with my arms crossed and pouted. Even a simple, “I don’t know, let’s find the answer together,” would have likely sufficed. Instead, I was made to leave and told not to come back until my attitude changed.
My desire to find answers lead me to another religion, Wicca.
I was Wiccan until the age of 16 when I met an older woman who explained her view on Wicca and made a statement I found very interesting.
“Stepping away from standard religious beliefs shows me your an old soul.”
I don’t believe I was an old soul. I was simply an intelligent kid with a stubborn streak and an insatiable curiosity.
That curiosity leads to me studying Taoism and Buddhism at the age of nineteen. It also led to me being an atheist for a few years as I sought logical answers to my questions.
Finally, at the age of 30, I settled on a view of spirituality, religion, and God that was entirely my own and could not be labeled by any particular religion.
Allow change, even if others don’t
We are constantly changing, and that is okay. It should be welcomed. Change means that you are living. Without change, there is no life.
Unfortunately, not everyone sees it this way.
You, like myself, may have had relationships with people who assume you’ll remain the same as you were when you first met.
The person you were with may have tried to make you feel guilty about your changes; this has nothing to do with you. It is their own limiting beliefs and fears that cause them to see your changes as a bad thing. It could even be their own inability to change for the better that makes it difficult for them to see your change as a good thing.
- I fell in love with who I thought you were
- I thought you were one way, but you never were
- You tricked me
These are all things I’ve heard from people who expected me never to change: Ex’s, family members, friends.
I only hurt myself when allowing these types of pained reactions to slow down or even halt my evolution.
First impressions are only important in the short term
When people first meet me, they assume that their first impression of me is how I am. Usually, this is a positive, upbeat spunky, personality. It is only one tiny facet of my personality.
When they realize this is not who I am, they get upset. As time goes by, using this anger, those same people have even blamed me for all the reasons why our time together is not as perfect as they imagined it would be.
It is impossible for anyone, especially myself, to remain the same forever. Our tastes change, our needs change, and our boundaries change.
Just as we need to accept ourselves now, we need to embrace that we are constantly changing.
You may not be a new person overnight which the saying, “New year new me,” insinuates. However, it does mean that we all change in subtle ways that we don’t always recognize.
Finding things to celebrate in change
I like writing, journaling, and blogging because it gives me a visual of how much I changed, for the better or the worst. It also gives me a detailed timeline to understand what led to me changing, allowing me to celebrate and adjust accordingly.
Want to know more about what I use journaling for check out this post, Setting Goals In The New Year.
It is in celebrating ourselves and those changes that we can evolve further. It goes back to the idea of loving oneself. To love oneself isn’t just about this moment; it’s about every moment in our lives and who we are in every one of those moments.
The importance of looking back at changes
By keeping track of your daily life to see changes you have made visually, you can also realize that where you start does not define where you will end up.
Like me, you may have been conceived by a parent with a mental illness or addiction. You may have been abused, lived in poverty, were taught that you were not good enough.
You may have taken all this in and gone down the same painful paths as those before you, becoming an addict, developing a mental illness, or jumping from one abusive relationship to another.
And perhaps, just like me, you overcame all these things. You may not be living a perfect life, but you are healthy, earning more money than you ever thought possible, and you’re happy.
Just as a runner becomes faster with every practice session and race they participate in, every challenge you face makes you stronger, wiser, and better than you were before.
Why mistakes are not a bad thing
The same challenges also lead to mistakes. These are lessons that help with our evolution.
Our bodies constantly change as we get older; this is no different in our minds, spirits, and triggers. Things that had you curled up in bed saying fuck my life a year ago, maybe things you laugh about now. A sin you found unforgivable may eventually be something you do forgive.
Don’t force change
It is okay to be as you are now. No one has the right to tell you to be otherwise. It is okay to be completely different tomorrow, next week, a month from now, or years from now. Change is a matter of changing one’s mind, and sometimes that takes longer than other times.
You are an evolving, changing, growing, individual human being, making you beautiful.
In what ways have you evolved? Leave your answer in the comments below!