A Change is Gonna Come
"I've been this way for too long to change now"... "See, when you get to be my age"... "I have gone too far to turn back at this point".
These are all comments that most of us have heard, if not uttered ourselves.
And if we're honest, they feel very self-defeating, narrow-minded, and well, kind of hopeless.
What is interesting though, is that even if the person who speaks these things has experienced disappointment and setback in their lives and perhaps not seen a lot of observable change, they are, in fact, changing all the time. We all are!
The real question is not whether a person can change or not, as we are always changing. The question is, are we changing for better, or worse?
C.S. Lewis in his brilliant, The Weight of Glory, tells us that "All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations."
Those destinations could be envisioned as the "best" of us, or the "worst" of us.
As we are finite human beings, we, by our very nature, are always changing. Therefore it is impossible to just truly stay one way.
If we feel as though we've "arrived" or can no longer change, we are actually giving into an illusion. Researchers call it "the end of history illusion".
Gilbert and Quoidbach of the National Fund for Scientific Research in Belgium and Univ. of Virginia psychologist Timothy Wilson examined the responses of more than 19,000 people over a span of four months in 2011 and 2012.
They found that, while most people can acknowledge that their lives have changed when they look back over a decade, they don't actually believe that change is constant or continues.
People feel like, whether they are 26 or 62, they are basically the person that they will always be, even though the evidence does not show this!
These researchers also found that the older we get the more we believe this idea that change in our personality and development stops. That is why they call this "The End of History Illusion", as if our history has stopped in its making.
Yet, we know that many spouses or significant others have declared in dismay to the other, "You've changed! You are not the person I fell in love with".
The one thing we find though is that, when we pursue a relationship with another person for any length of time, change is inevitable.
This, my friends, is actually very good news. We are designed in the very essence of our humanity to change!
Now it is a matter of taking hold of that perpetual potential and every day going after the positive change that we desire.
It is not only possible, it is most truly what you were created for. You can change for the better and look back after a decade and see beautiful results.
So... what are you waiting for?