I’m the Woman I’ve Always Been, but Somewhat Different
Once again, I am back to be the woman I used to be. Trilled about life and able to taste it all in sips, in hugs, in one big gulp. I am no longer a woman who forgets herself and put others first. A shadow of broken, unaccomplished dreams and bittersweet disappointments. Little by little, I have healed. I have reacquainted with my old self.
At some point in our lives, we all have embarked on these transcendental personal journeys. Journeys in which we consciously realize that we have gone too far from our emotional north, from our internal equator. Finally, in one last outstanding act of bravery, we trace our steps back and walk over the footprints we left in the sand of our emotional oceans, only to regain our integrity and self-esteem.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself”
– Leon Tolstoy –
During this subtle psychological process, in order to recover our identity and values, we must embrace the fact that we will never come back intact. Along this return trip, several things have changed, and even when we proudly look at ourselves in the mirror, knowing we moved away from what once hurt us, we will never be exactly the same as we were.
We will be an improved version of ourselves. This is a process that certainly requires time, even though we have walked away from that what bound us to pain, no one jumps to happiness, calmness and well-being in a couple of days. Time, willpower, self-care and faith are most needed.
I am a person who suffers but I am afraid to change
This is a very interesting issue. In order to stop being the victim once and for all, it is imperative to set in motion a series of steps that not everyone is ready or willing to undertake. First,we must be conscious of our circumstances. Then we must feel the need to really make the change happen. Lastly it is necessary to work on something extremely complex: “our willpower”.
The simplicity to these steps may surprise us if looked at a glance, because who wouldn’t desire to do whatever it takes to step away from pain and feel better? Surprisingly, there are individuals that never take the “leap of faith”, because they do not realize they deserve to be, to feel and to live better. Victor Frankl in his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, explains to us that there are people who would rather live in unhappiness than start something that could be even scarier: change.
For example, Anne Thorndike MD, General Internist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, demonstrated that not every patient affected by a cardiovascular condition decides to move towards a healthier life style that guarantees his/her survival. Furthermore, some women refuse to leave their partners despite being unhappy for only two reasons: fear of change and fear itself.
Be the same person, be better
To be the who you always were, a trusting individual with clear goals, objectives and excited about life, you need to exercise the most neglected muscle of all. A wonderful structure within the human psychological and emotional architecture: “willpower“.
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”.
-George Bernard Shaw-
Books such as, ” The Willpower Instinct”, written by Kelly McGonigal, explain that, asthree decades of study have revealed, willpower itself is not something that either we have or we don’t.
In fact willpower is a resource, a muscle that must be constantly trained, even “restored”, and just like any physical exercise this can leave us exhausted, ecstatic and at the very end of our ropes.
Quite often, we forget we still have a voice to speak up and say “no more”. We forget we have resources, and strength to let go and end the cycle. We should never overlook the psychological price we pay for not changing those unwelcome aspects of our lives.
Before we conclude this article, it is important to set the record straight . Leaving behind a complex stage of our lives does not necessarily guarantee happiness. It is not as simple as closing one door and opening a new one. And what awaits us on the other side, is not always a warm and inviting breeze.
The human brain is programmed to be resistant to change, therefore, it requires time to adjust and above all, it needs to be fed new thought patterns and experiences that introduce a fresh outlook and a new perception, so it exposes itself to calmness and well-being again.
Reading, traveling, walking, changing scenery, interacting with new people, or taking on new projects and hobbies can make you realize you are growing back into the person you were before, but you are certainly coming out stronger and wiser.