As I have been considering the next article to post on my blog, this topic continued to push to the forefront. In keeping with the theme from The Silence is Too Loud, this ties into my poem “Been There, No Longer Live There.”
It can be challenging as we go through life having various experiences and being defined at that moment as being “that person.” However, the greater tragedy is when WE allow our experiences to be the defining moment of who we are, especially when it is a negative connotation.
If we can concede to the idea that we are ever changing, then we can begin to identify that what we experience in a specific space of time is not who we are for the rest of our life. Perhaps our inappropriate behavior has resulted from some personal issues we are facing. Or maybe the experience manifested because we were suppressing a greater issue and this was the end result. There are also experiences that we have during a period where we have not matured, thus were not able to address the issue in a manner that would have been appropriate, whether it was the way we responded or the words which we had spoken. When I see you several years later I should not expect or anticipate that based on an experience you are still in that same place. For example, if you were caught in a lie several years ago, and later in life, I see you again, I shouldn’t define you by that experience and maintain a belief that because you lied back then, you are showing up in the present day as a liar. What happen at that time was an experience that should not define you as “that person.”
If we are unable to make the distinction between experiences and who people are, then they are never given the liberty to grow and mature. In the process of time our perception changes, our thoughts change and the way we choose to interact with people can also change. Given these variables why would we want to believe that the experiences people have are absolutely who they are? Strangely enough, we do not want others to judge us on this same caliber but it is easy to pass this type of judgement. Why is it difficult to accept that people have graduated from the behavior they may have exemplified in the past? If someone is addressing our shortcomings, we want to project by talking about what they use to do. We are looking for an escape route by speaking as if there has been no change in the other person. Could it be that you have not changed, so you don’t want to give someone else the benefit of the doubt? One of the most unfair things we can do is believe that people don’t change and they will always be “that person.” If you are a person who knows you have made changes in your life, let people know that you’ve “Been There, But No Longer Live There.” With the utmost confidence, own your past but inform people that you have changed your address and you do not live in the negativity that they once witnessed you in.