Who were you yesterday? My hope is that in some way, even the smallest of ways, you have changed since yesterday. Perhaps it’s in the awareness of who you are, and who you would like to become? Perhaps it’s accepting an aspect of yourself for what it is? Perhaps it’s allowing yourself to forgive an action you’ve taken that you would now do differently? Perhaps you’ve found forgiveness or acceptance of another? Perhaps you have kept a goal for yourself and you are feeling proud? Perhaps you have become unhinged and have found the ability to see where? Perhaps you have set a new goal for yourself that the person yesterday could not have even comprehended? Change is essential and inevitable, as we make the choices that define our life.
Allow me to share a little about my dog, Benson. Inside my home, he is a dream dog; loves everyone, and even assists me during my massages. Outside, he lunges for people. For years now I have been trying to figure out the ‘why’ to his behavior. Explaining that he’s reactive, protective, fearful, and that is why he does what he does. But, in reality, I don’t actually know why. Recently we had a situation that made me clear away the clutter of this age old story, and gaze sharply upon what I do know. I am visually impaired, I am not a dog trainer, he’s been doing this for over seven years, we’ve tried to correct his behavior, and we’ve not succeeded. Today, I made a decision to change the story; he’s wearing a muzzle. This story was certainly going to continue, and it likely would have had a very sad ending, but by making a choice to make a change – I am consciously choosing our path forward. Life is not happening to us. I have to say, my heart ached for him today because he was uncomfortable and people were scared of him, but I also know that I love him, and I am responsible for his well-being, and sometimes those choices to make change may not always feel like full-on wins.
Today I also started writing in a diary. I know that writing can often help me to get a clearer understanding of the swirling ideas and thoughts in my head. For several years now I have been trying to get to the bottom of some of my habits, and I decided to take action. Instead of just carrying on with all the tricks I’ve already tried, I decided to make a change. Will it be the ultimate solution? That remains to be seen. However, I was never going to end up at a new destination following the same worn path.
I think we go through spurts where we feel inspired to shoot for huge changes in our life. Often when we do this, I believe we also set ourselves up for heartache. Crash diet to lose twenty pounds? Sure, you’ll lose the weight, but you won’t have any knowledge of how to keep it off. Never underestimate the value of small changes. A puzzle only comes together one small piece at a time, and it’s those middle pieces that are the most tricky!
I think it’s also important to acknowledge that every person is always changing. Your partner is different today than they were yesterday; your family members, your friends, your colleagues—all different today than yesterday. I try very hard to keep this in mind when I engage with individuals that I once wasn’t particularly fond of. It’s not to say we are now going to be ‘besties,’ but it’s to acknowledge that I have changed, and thus they likely have too. It forces me to truly be present, to listen to the person in front of me now, and not fill my mind with chatter from memories gone by.
One important thing about change – it only happens when we are in acceptance with who we are before it. If you are absolutely loathing yourself over how you look, that’s not going to give you the motivation to make change. If you can look at yourself in the mirror and allow yourself to be filled with love for the uniqueness that is you, then you can say, “I want to do better for myself because I deserve that.” This kind of self- love, this is how you find motivation. When we hate our bodies, then we may as well crash diet and throw them all out of physiological whack. But, when we love them, that’s when we look on them with care, and that is how we stay motivated to make loving choices to care for them. We muzzle them with love, so to speak.