The skirt should be worn a little longer … or a little shorter … The lipstick? That color just isn’t. You are too cheeky, too little feminine, you have an extra kilo, two less! You are always too much or too little. From the body we move on to life choices and then yes or no to children, overtime and the contract. There are a thousand choices ahead of you, a thousand different paths. In the meantime, there are always those who ask you for a change that for you has the whole face of a compromise .
He is the one who insists on making you change, the person you fell in love with, your mother with whom you have always fought, your childhood friend as well as your employer. And they do it ” only for your good “, they point out with the air of someone who knows a lot. Between a glare and a look of disapproval at the bottom what they are asking is just a small adjustment.
Maybe the change is the same as you are asking for: children, colleagues, husband or boyfriend. In love and in the family, at school or at work, wherever we run into someone who asks us to change . And we do the same: accustomed to feeling judged, we judge. But is it really fair to ask someone to change? And even if it were for his own good, at what price?
Time for change
And if you become a butterfly
no one thinks
about what it was
when you crawled on the ground
and you didn’t want wings.
A kite takes three to five years to transform from larva to pupa and go outside. The life expectancy of an adult male is around … two months! The females, born in June, compared to the males can aspire to survive until September-October: after about five years, they have four weeks to explore the vast world.
The phenomenon of metamorphosis is common to many animal species, from insects to fish, molluscs, amphibians. Inside, the secret of a transformation of form is drawn, inscribed in the DNA. Weeks or years can pass, and suddenly it happens: within a few moments the envelope breaks and a new being is born from the fragments of what has fallen apart. The chrysalis hid what needed time to emerge.
Yes, because what is not said is that the transformation takes time . And that the change that comes from within does not erase what we have been, on the contrary it integrates what we have lived, always. This is the meaning of evolution and the most important lesson in nature ‘s resilience : nothing is lost.
A broken branch, a trunk looking for the light or born in the wrong place become the intricate design of a tree looking for new paths towards growth . Time, the incredible variation needed for this journey: an ingredient that we are used to looking at with impatience and frustration, convinced that change is “now or never”.
The importance of acceptance
But of course to understand people’s changes, one must love them
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Think of all the people you know and who among them has made a change in their life as usual. In some cases you have seen friends turn their entire existence upside down and then return to the starting point, other times you have witnessed a silent revolution that arrived on tiptoe but after which nothing was the same. The reality is that the real change is what happens inside . And that’s the only one that works.
Those who ask you to change say they know you, but they don’t know who you really are. It’s a common mistake, we all inadvertently do it. Especially with those we love the most. We believe we know what is best for the other and by doing so we do not realize we are locking him in a cage made of judgments and non-acceptance . You start from this awareness: every transformation is possible only starting from a genuine and dispassionate capacity to accept . Because everything we reject multiplies, it becomes a specter capable of reminding us of our limitations and our worst mistakes.
There is no butterfly without a larva, and it is not a simple period of waiting: it is tiring preparation, commitment, incubation. If you want something different now it’s because you’ve lived up to now, so thank your story , including the pages that in hindsight you would have liked to delete. There is no hindsight: it is the arrogant claim of an impossible perspective.
Fear is the first obstacle
I think that all great innovations are built on the waste received by
Stephen King has collected all the rejection letters he has received in his bedroom, there are so many. His first novel, “Carrie”, was published in 1974: the initial circulation was 30 thousand copies, the following year it sold over a million. The story resembles that of L. Frank Baum. He loved reading stories to his children and neighborhood children, he had no particular luck at work: it is his wife who pushed him to propose his stories and focus on what seems to be his natural talent . It will receive at least 27 refusals from the publishing houses contacted. Yet, after more than a century, today we all know “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, which will finally be published in May 1900. What do these experiences tell?
To change our life we need to change external contingencies… and remain true to ourselves. Sometimes listening to the opinion of others has no other result than staying within the known tracks. We need not to be afraid , to be a bit reckless and stubborn as well as confident to create new paths.
Face your inner judge
You are about to make a decision and you have the doubt … are you doing it for yourself or for others? This is easy to see. When others ask us to change around we will see approving looks and smiles. But an irrepressible feeling will wriggle inside us, that of feeling in the wrong place . It is only the voice of the heart the instinct that can lead you to what is really worth to you, a whisper that we struggle to hear but that contains all our truths.
If you are changing for yourself then be ready to feel alone, to face everyone’s disapproving looks, judgment and doubts. You will discover that it is often an optical illusion: within the gaze of others there is not always rejection; sometimes it’s just our personal doubts that are reflected in the other. The most terrible judges are always ourselves.
And then face your inner judge already knowing what he will tell you: he will cry out that you cannot, you must not, you are not able, you will not do enough. Look the fear and the hypothesis of failure in the face and know that real failure is what we let go of in fear of not doing enough. Laugh at your limits . Enter new doors. Shrug those who want to tell you where to go and find the courage to make mistakes . Most importantly, do it by remembering to have fun.