If you have lived for a while, you have usually had time to be several different versions of yourself. Hopefully I might add. At least if your ambition is to evolve and become a little bit wiser over the years.
All our selves
I imagine that we have a personality with certain main features that accompany us all our lives. But that a lot still happens with “who we are” during the journey. Different events, choices and experiences shape us. Some people change more, others less.
If you look at it over ten-year periods a lot can happen. Especially if something happens that shakes your world a bit. But also if you are consciously looking for different ways to evolve. If you are a person who is actively seeking different ways to learn more about life and yourself, people around you may find it hard to keep up.
At the same time, we have all our different selves within us. Which is a great asset. Because if you are aware that you yourself have been many different persons in your life, you can understand that the same thing also applies to others. It may make it easier not to take old wrongdoings all that personally. Or increase our understanding that other people’s needs and interests may change. It can therefore be a good idea to really be present and actively listen to what the people we have around us actually say. So we don’t stop listening because we think we already know what they will say.
More or less yourself
Different contexts can make it more or less easy to be who we really are. Maybe you feel that you need to play a role role so you don’t risk to… well, risk what?
Sometimes we might find ourselves participating in a context more because we are afraid of being excluded, more than because we really want to be there. That is seldom uplifting. A good control question can be: “do I get more energy from this activity / person / context, or does it make me tired?” If you get mostly tired, you are probably not in the context you honestly would prefer.
Being true to yourself
Being honest with yourself and others with what you want and need makes life so much easier. This is not to say that you should always put your own needs first. Or run over everyone else. But if you are honest, it will definitely be much easier to find other people who want and need the same thing as you do. And what you want and need can change over the years.
Another important thing that happens if you stick to people and contexts that you don’t really enjoy that much is this: you fill the space in your life with things that feel “quite good”. And then there will be no room left for things that feel “YES !!!”. 🙂
Love or fear?
Sometimes the reason we stay in different relationships or play a role in some contexts may be that we are afraid of hurting someone else. But does that mean that you think that person is unable to find other friends or connections on their own? This can of course be true in some extreme cases. But otherwise it is a rather diminishing way of thinking about someone else.
A relationship that is based on being afraid of hurting each other is definitely more about fear than about joy and love. But fear is not a positive emotion. It makes everything smaller. Fear is the exact opposite of love. For love does not have to pretend. It does not try to hold on too hard or manipulate. True love is a genuinely positive and high feeling. It wants what’s best for others. Even if it sometimes means letting go and feeling good apart instead of together.
Another reason to stick to activities and people you do not really like may be that you are afraid of being alone. But there is a difference between being by yourself and being alone. Being with yourself does not have to mean feeling lonely. And it can sometimes be the absolute best thing you can do if you want to take a little time out and think about who you are and who you want to be in the future.