We love to categorize our environment, and even ourselves. It provides a sense of control in our unpredictable worlds to put something into a box and understand it. We make assumptions without knowing the full picture. We spin stories to answer incomplete questions. We are obsessed with finding ourselves.
We are attached to labels. Smart. Pretty. Funny. Quiet. We can’t wait to find the adjectives that describe who we really are, and then settle into the comfortable mould that we carefully crafted for ourselves. By identifying as something specific, we conform to a rigid notion and do a great disservice to our original nature. It may give us an ego boost to rest in the self-assuredness of our comfort zones, but it limits our human potential. The moment we find something we love, we try to possess and attach ourselves to it.
This does gratify us temporarily, until we realize that the idealized images don’t sustain reality.
We experience cognitive dissonance because we do not fully grasp our true selves. Why do we need to have a fixed presence to validate our existence? Why do we need to associate to a uniform personality to feel like we know ourselves? We are fluid identities, elusive, complex and hard to grasp. We are like the vast and bottomless ocean, expanding infinitely. Every success, failure, heartbreak and loss does not define you, but makes you more indefinable. Experience does not reduce us, but creates more space for maturity, empathy and strength. There are so many ways in which we let our pasts govern us.
How beautiful would it be if we recognized the ever-changing, evolving stream of consciousness that we really are, and stopped trying to ebb the flow? Why can’t we be unattached to the past and future, and live fully in the present moment? We should honor the timelessness of our beings, and acknowledge the tapestry of stories that we spin every single second.
We make the mistake of seeing ourselves through another’s eyes, a lover, a parent, our gender, profession, body image and societal expectations. It is wonderful to express ourselves through words, clothing, mannerisms and idiosyncrasies, but we should live unfettered from them, knowing that they are temporary. We are viewing life from the wrong end of the prism, and miss out on the kaleidoscope of rainbow colours. Our experiences with people and places, whether painful or pleasurable do not make us who we are, they simply show us different versions of who we can be.
It’s alright to want different things, and to be another person than you were last year, or even yesterday.
We must tell ourselves that it’s okay to change our minds, because it does not mean we are weak, but strong and adaptable enough to resist constancy.
It is liberating to know that we are more than our conditioning and our genetic natures. We are more than our wildest imaginings. It is freeing to realize that we can pick and choose who we want to be, by weeding out parts of our pasts that held up mirrors we didn’t like.
You are allowed to change like the shifting seasons, and even be all of them at once. You are free to come and go like the tides. You can be reborn with every sunrise, and die every night. You are made from fire-water-earth-ether, change is in your nature. You are a malleable and moldable creature made from blood, tissue and bones, soft and strong enough to heal from hurt.
You are allowed to be different from your past and future, and faithful only to your present.