I used to think – “I don’t want to change.”
I liked myself as a kid. I liked being a kid. No responsibilities, care-free days and mostly, home-cooked meals. But then I grew up and went off to school in Canada. The world around me changed – the place, the people and the food. And I had to change with it. But, I told myself that I hadn’t really changed. That when I went back home, everyone would still recognize me as the same old brother or son or friend. It was scary to think that something would change me and someone close to me wouldn’t recognize me anymore.
Over the past year, I have been working on myself. On my behaviours, my routine, my inner thoughts and how they manifest in my conversations and interactions with people. I am also being mindful of my healing processes. There is much that has happened against what seemed like the flow of the world. We are changing what’s normal and in doing so, we’re trying to figure out what our new flow is and how it all works, But I am not writing about COVID today. I am writing about change.
As I aim to transform myself into a more mindful individual, more questions about change come up.
Am I changing too much? Will I become too different? Do I want to change?
After some thought, here is what I’ve come up with. The idea behind taking up healthier practises and trying to be more mindful is to improve your way of life as a person. Since I’ve started meditating, I find myself going into the rest of my day with a clear(er) head. Reflections allow me to evaluate my conversations with people. And of course, introspecting about difficult days and hurtful conversations helps me understand how and why I approach things.
Often times, we think of healing as a process that takes us back to our original state. But consider this. If you have ever worked through a difficult period in your life and consider yourself healed, are you back to your original unhurt state? Can you ever go back to the point where that hurt or trauma had never entered in your life? No. You carry the hurt and the recovery forward with you and it shapes you.
Some say change is a constant. It will occur whether you want it to or not. COVID was a big change but if it hadn’t occurred smaller changes would still happen everyday. As I invoke certain practises in my daily routines, I bring about change. This is not inflicted change, rather it is controlled change. Change of my own making, so to say. I choose to bring about positive changes by taking baby steps towards meditation and mindfulness.
I also think of the worldly changes that happen in our lives. The ones we can’t control. Like friends who choose to stop reaching back or family members who make selfish decisions. When your school shifts online and you suddenly have to change everything about your mode of learning. When you find yourself feeling silly for having put so much into a one-sided relationship. All these are changes we don’t control. And I have found that when I experience these un-controllable situations, my personal changes come to the rescue.
Meditation, mindfulness and reflections help me find the way forward by looking inward. These changes that I choose to bring to my life, work to balance the uncontrolled ones that are flung at me. And that answers my questions. I change a little bit every day but I control the real change in my life. I give it direction and allow it to take me where I would like to go.
So, no, I am not changing too much. And, yes, I will become different but from the changes of my own making. And most importantly, yes I do wish to change. I wish to grow and find new ways to live a more mindful life. I’ve answered my own questions, and I’d like to ask you one as I conclude this post,
P.S. I hope you all stay safe. Wear masks in public areas. Check up on friends and family. Take care of yourselves folks!