Be Who You Want To Be

You are not broken, my friend, but you are stuck. You cannot move forward until you let go of the past. You cannot be the person you want to be until you let go of the person you are.

Photo by Hope Ryden for National Geographic

The beauty of this thing we call life, is that each day gives us the chance to begin anew. Caterpillars are not the only creatures capable of transformation. Humans have that capacity to change, to become stronger, to reach the goals we set for ourselves, to become who we want to be.

Change is not always easy. Letting go is not always easy. Hiding from the world and hiding from ourselves is easy. We mask our pain with alcohol, drugs and isolation. We tell ourselves that no one will understand the pain we feel.  That pain is a signal that change is needed.

How do we begin the process to transform from who we are to who we want to be? We take ownership of the past, of the choices we made, of the things that happened to us that were beyond our control. We forgive ourselves for bad choices, for guilt over the things that happened that were beyond our control. We forgive those who harmed us or let us down. Even if they are no longer with us. Forgiveness allows us to move forward.

Words are the narrative of our lives. We can change our lives by changing our words. It sounds simplistic and it is. But part of change is to reframe our thoughts from who we were to who we want to be. Instead of saying “I’m just an alcoholic,” say “I’m an alcoholic who has the strength to stay sober today.” Take it one day at a time.

Find inspiration in books, music and movies. Write your thoughts down. Write short stories, poetry, your memoir. Just write. Be creative.  We all have the capacity for creativity whether it is writing, or music, or art, or some other outlet.  Nurture that creativity.

Keep asking questions. Keep exploring intellectually. If we aren’t always learning, we aren’t growing. Our lives should be filled with learning. There is always something new to discover and learn. We can’t be on a journey of discovery unless we open our minds to the possibility of what if and why not. We sometimes need to drop our preconceived notions about what was or what is to see what can be.

Just don’t give up on yourself. Don’t devalue yourself. You are strong, smart, compassionate. You see through the bullshit and hypocrisy that many people clothe themselves in, but that doesn’t mean you are not empathetic. It means you don’t suffer fools and have little patience for people who are not leading authentic lives.

It is difficult to see you in pain. I wish I could be more inspiring, but my words don’t always come out right. I’m always here to listen if you need to talk. I hope you find your way.

I love you and care about you. Take care, my friend. The world would not be the same place without you in it.

Each of us has a demon or two we struggle with or we know someone whose struggles make ours seem inconsequential. As much as we would like to be able to change others, change only comes from within. This was written for a dear friend. He has yet to find a way to slay his demons. 

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16 thoughts on “Be Who You Want To Be

  1. A couple of hours ago I was crying over a situation that makes me incredibly heartbroken and I heard the words, “let it go.” I repeated them a few times until I felt settled and now ironically you are the first blog post I read tonight. I realize you wrote this for your friend, but it spoke to me as well. Thank you.

    • I’m sorry you are in pain tonight. This post was a letter I wrote to my friend after spending several hours on the phone with him. I wasn’t sure if I should post it, but I’m glad I did and that it spoke to you.

  2. While change only comes form within, and can only be embraced by the one who needs to change, it is so much…easier(?) to take the most important first step knowing one has the support, love and encouragement of someone in their lives like you, sandy.
    Incredibly well said, and I sincerely hope your friend emerges from his battles as the victor.

    • I hope he is victorious, too, though often it feels like one step forward and two steps backward. I just try to be there for him – a friendly ear or a shoulder to cry on.

  3. Thank you for this! It’s exactly what I needed to read. When it’s family members that are the fools that you’ve been suffering it’s incredibly hard to let go. I’m completely depleted from all the crap. ( so much denial, phoniness, selfish child-like behavior coming from adults.) I’m walking away because I refuse to be hurt anymore, but my gosh, it’s beyond painful. I’m still in the process of giving myself permission to move on. When you’ve been hurt beyond measure and trust has been destroyed is there any other choice?

    • In an ideal world, the family we are born into is loving, emotionally supportive and stays with us throughout our lives. Sadly for many, that is not the case. However, we can create a new family with friends. I wish you well on your journey and hope you find peace in a new family of friends.

  4. What a lovely post. This is so true, but many don’t recognize it:” That pain is a signal that change is needed.”
    These are also true and very well written: “Words are the narrative of our lives. We can change our lives by changing our words.”
    It’s hard to watch friend hurt. You have done an excellent job offering hope and a path. Peace

  5. When I read this I thought you were writing to me at first because I have been absent from my own life for the last little while. I hope your friend finds his way.

    • Thanks. Often we lose ourselves along the way though most of us easily find our way back, but some of us struggle more than others to realize our dreams.

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