What if, in the course of walking your path, when you do find yourself, you don’t like who you find?
Truth be told, that is an integral part of the entire Pathwalking concept.
I don’t care who you are, or what you’ve done throughout your life…there are still moments you wish you could take back, people you wish you could speak better to, choices made that you might have preferred not to make. This is a part of the human condition – we are perfect imperfect beings, and we make mistakes.
Pathwalking, to one extent or another, is about finding, choosing, and taking your own path in life. The journey itself will reveal to you who you are along the way…and, as such, may show you someone you do not wish to be.
Some people argue that people cannot change. I completely disagree with this sentiment. Anyone can change…but it is not a simple process, and it is not a matter of course…it’s a choice.
“A tiger cannot change its stripes.” True enough. But we are not tigers. We are human beings, and we are conscious of our choices, of who we are, and how we are perceived by those around us. In fact, of all the creatures on this planet, we are really the only one who can change our outward appearance, or our stripes. Hair can be altered, shaped and dyed; eye color shifted with contact lenses; body shape altered with diet, exercise and/or steroids…and, likewise, we can change the substance within us.
Of course, like every aspect of Pathwalking, this is not easy. Once you find yourself, and learn who you are, if you want to change who you are, you have to put forth tremendous effort. You have to make a lot of conscious choices…in especial if the person you wish to be is almost the opposite of your general nature.
Just because you are a certain way now, does not mean you cannot change it. It doesn’t matter if you are selfless, selfish, caring, uncaring, feeling or unfeeling…you can choose how you want to be. If you are an unemotional cold fish by nature, once you identify this, you can choose behaviors and actions that will be opposite this. You get to choose to be who you want to be. But this takes a lot of thought, a lot of effort, and a lot of work.
One important fact about this topic – how others perceive you is something beyond your control. There are things I did five, ten, maybe even twenty years ago that are still in the minds of people in my life. Even though those actions were done by someone I WAS all that time ago, and not who I am now, they will probably ALWAYS see me for who I was.
How others perceive you is not as important as how YOU perceive yourself. Selfish? No. Self-aware. This is not about how others see you…this is about how YOU see you.
Abraham Lincoln said, “You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” And this is a difficult concept to wrap your head around. No matter who you want to be, who you think you are, people will see you how they see you. Some people will never believe that even if you DO change who you are, that it is anything more than an act. They may always define you from a single action of yesteryear, and no matter how you change, their perceptions will not.
And this is important. Because changing who you are should NEVER be about who other people think you are…it should be about YOU, being who YOU would choose to be.
The only person who will ever really know me, know who I am, know how I think, is me. The person who needs to be happy with who I am, as such, is me. There will always be those who disagree with me, there will always be those who dislike me, the way I think, the person I am…and that’s unfortunate. But it is what it is – what’s important is that I am choosing to be who I want to be, the person I desire to be.
One reason I share this Pathwalking concept is because this idea can be very lonely. It’s not a matter of alienating people, it’s a matter of spending time with yourself, which can create a feeling of utter distance. This is a personal journey, when all is said and done.
This is about me. BUT, just so, I do not undertake this trip alone…even though the journey and the goals are different, the concept of Pathwalking, and its rewards, perils and pitfalls, joy and the bliss as a concept can be shared and explored by and with anyone and everyone.
I know who I am. I know who I am working to become. And I know that if you are reading this, the idea appeals to you as well. And I share if for exactly that reason.
Who are you, and who do you want to be?
This is the twenty-second entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.