In response to last week's letter about acceptance, I got a number of interesting replies. One of you sent in a beautiful sentiment about self-definition and change... I just had to share:
"The development and acceptance of something new, even if the old is left behind, does not minimize the past, or make what used to be any less impactful on oneself, or who one is in the now. Letting go does not equate to erasing."
It adds a beautiful dimension to the conversation that I thought I'd share. Often the challenges we're trying to accept involve change. We're often giving up some semblance of what was and trying to acknowledge a new emerging reality. This reader's point was about all of our tendency to resist change by building and holding a firm conceptual sense of self: "I'm this kind of person" or "My mission is that" or "I believe in this" or "I would never do that" etc.
While we do need to have some sort of identity to operate in this world, it can be self-defeating if it calcifies. When we become rigid in who we think we are, we often prevent our ability to actually be who we are. Because who we are changes, and if we're locked in rigid thinking about our identity, we start to resist our own evolution. We need to stay open to the unknown, that's a huge part of acceptance.
As the tragic talent Shannon Hoon put it, "Life is hard, you have to change"