One of the greatest 'aha' moments I've had the pleasure of experiencing was when I realised the truth behind the sentence;
'you don't have to be who you were 5 minutes ago'.
My whole life I've been labelled quite a few times by the people around me. Some of the labels have been kind and others, not so much.
I used to be known for being stubborn. I used to be known for being loud. I used to be known for being aggressive, angry, hysterical and the unflattering list goes on.
Later in life, when I started evaluating who I was and how others perceived me, I wasn't all too happy with the girl that other people saw in me. And what's more, I couldn't see myself in her or even relate to her.
So I decided to stop being her and instead be the person I wanted to be.
Can you change overnight? Of course not! But what you can do is challenge the parts of you that you're not always too pleased with and in time see drastic changes in your life.
Am I still stubborn, loud, aggressive, hysterical and angry today? You bet I am! The difference is that now I choose not to let my emotions carry me away too freely. I practise self-control, self-restraint and probably most important, I practice patience.
Over time, I have changed quite a few things about me and will probably continue to do so for the rest of my life. The road to improvement is never-ending after all. But it does mean that the people who knew me ten years ago, five years ago and sometimes even as close as last month, wouldn't know me today. And that's ok.
But you don't have to be as dramatic as all that. The truth is that the statement works just as well in every day life to help us stay sane and be kind to ourselves.
Imagine making a mistake. A stupid mistake. A mistake that really shouldn't even have happened in the first place.
But instead of beating yourself up over it and making yourself feel worse, forgive yourself and move on. You don't have to be the person who made a mistake - you can be the person who made a mistake, forgave yourself and moved the fuck on!
In case you can't relate to making stupid mistakes, try this for size; imagine having an argument with someone you care about. Imagine saying horrible things to that person. Imagine being so carried away with you anger that you deliberately try to hurt that person.
Instead of being the person who has a hard time owning up to their actions, be the person who takes a deep breath, slows down and apologises. It's never too late to change who you are, even if you're knee deep in shit!
Today I use the expression 'Child has many faces' often when I describe myself. Because that's truly how I see myself.
I may be stubborn today but tomorrow I'm patient.
I may have been confused most of last week but now I'm clarity itself.
I may have just started an argument 5 minutes ago but now decided to let it go.
Basically, it's hard to keep up with me if you haven't accepted the statement for yourself.
So tell me; who were you five minutes ago and who are you now?