I would add: “And, a person who views themselves the same at fifty as they did at twenty has wasted thirty years of their life.”
We all have the ability to change. Only two things are needed – awareness and desire.
Let’s say you suddenly realize you have been plagued your whole life with intimate relationships issues. You have up to this point pretty much always blamed the other. Or, you might recognize that you seem to have a talent for choosing a partner that isn’t good for you in the long run. The important point here is that you don’t feel you have any skin in the game – it’s pretty much 100%, maybe 95% the fault of the other person – always. You are totally blameless. When you look in the mirror you see a person who has been wronged looking back. It’s a short step from here to being a victim. A slippery slope for sure.
Awareness has dawned – all my intimate relationships end badly. Right here is a very important choice point. Can you even consider that maybe, just maybe you had some responsibility in the relationship? Can you own any of it? I love Jimmy Buffett’s song, Margaritaville. Talk about wisdom! You can view the song on YouTube here. He begins by saying “it’s nobody’s fault.” By the next verse he has concluded “Hell, it could be my fault.” And in the final verse he realizes “I know it’s my own damn fault.”
The truth is a good relationship takes two people and a bad relationship takes two people. If you don’t want to be with the other, leave. It probably isn’t a very good plan to stay and think you will change them or time will change them, etc.
So, back to change. I use the relationship example because relationships are rich ground for all of us to learn, mature and change. It really doesn’t matter whether the relationship lasts or not. What matters is that we learn to be authentic. That is really what you signed on for when you decided on a committed relationship. I promise to kick you in the butt when you are being a jerk and I expect the same in return. How else are we ever going to grow up and live authentically? Our partners (assuming their lens is fairly clear) help us see ourselves as we are.
So step one – awareness. Step two – desire. I see it. Do I really want to go through the process of change? Or, is it easier to stay all tucked in my pretend world? Only questions you can answer for yourself.
It seems to me the lessons we are presented in life – the ones calling us to grow up, be responsible and live authentically – just keep getting a little more intense as time passes. It may be we are given the opportunity to learn these lessons when they are small and not such a big deal. If we keep refusing to change and grow, the lessons gradually get more in our face. Eventually, all hell breaks loose and we wonder why we are so unlucky. Amazing.