Recently I got back in touch with an old friend. Somewhere along the way we lost contact. The relationship fizzled out naturally. We’d gone a long spell without each other. Years. So much time had passed. So much had happened. I had changed. Drastically. Where would we even begin? How would it be?
The funny thing is when we eventually spoke there was no awkwardness. The conversation just flowed.
Who I was then & who I am now feel like worlds apart. However, as the friend reminded me on the call, we’re not hugely different to who we were before. She’s also right. There’s a truth in both being a different person (forging a new path in life) as well as being the same (as who I was at 16 years old according to the long, lost friend).
Two things come up for me with this thought…
The person who we used to be (from our past) is still very much a part of the person we are today. I say this with gumption (as tone isn’t detectable here). I’ve been learning this through my own journey.
The beliefs I’ve held in the past about the life I should lead as an adult e.g. a successful corporate career, earning money to support myself, married by a certain age, kids, owning a home, driving a certain car, are worlds apart from who I am now & the life I’m choosing to lead. Consequently, my beliefs have changed.
However, just like when you’re navigating new landscapes, there’s going to be bumps along the way. As much as you’re ready to embrace your journey, the bump takes you by surprise. You hurtle towards the ground & fall.
These bumps aka old beliefs resurface from time to time. That’s absolutely natural & normal. The past-self is going to bump up into the present-self. Forming a compassionate relationship between the two has helped me tremendously with harmonising the two sets of beliefs.
Nature or way of being… Which I think closely links with values. I didn’t give my nature or values much thought when I was at school, but as I’ve got older, I’ve started building my understanding around them for myself as well as others.
I’d like to think what my friend remembers about me were my kind, respectful, honest & generous ways. Perhaps that’s what she meant when she said we haven’t changed massively from who we used to be. She said this after I apologised for not getting in touch sooner.
The reason I believe she’s right is because I am still me. My nature & way of being are still the same. Although my beliefs have changed in what feels like a drastic manner to me, who I am at my core, what is in my nature is very much the same.
So, of course, she wasn’t going to think ill of me. She put it down to things going on. Such a resilient way of thinking. She also made me feel at ease when I explained the last few years of change I’d been experiencing. Such wonderful qualities I’m glad to be reminded of again. I felt grateful that we got back in touch.