I am not the same person I once was.
As we grow older and the reflection in the mirror reveals a new person every day, internally, we feel a consistency. We feel very much the same person we’ve always been. But all of that is a fallacy.
Almost all of the cells in your body regenerate on a regular basis, so physically there is very little of you that once was.
Mentally, we’d like to look in the mirror and believe that internally we are the same person we have always been. But that also could not be further from the truth. Every day, and every experience that day brings, shapes and sculpts us in tiny, incalculable ways.
Internally, we feel a consistency of character. But again, if we are transparent with ourselves, we would have to concede that our internal character is a perpetual evolution. If this feels contrary to your perspective, you only need reflect back to one of the most intense chapters of your life. It doesn’t matter the experience that transpired in the chapter, it only matters how that chapter impacted you personally and what you learned from it.
Each one of these chapters, both positive and negative, are influential in our overall being. They are the building blocks that give us reason to grow. The growth naturally creates evolution and the evolution gives way to a different being.
If this lack of consistency in oneself is troublesome, you only need remind yourself that a work in progress is precisely that. We have a continuous opportunity to grow, improve, learn, change habits, evolve into what we are most desirous of being.
I have encountered people who feel as if their greatest days are behind them. In many cases, I am most prone to point out for them how many opportunities remain at their disposal. If a person’s focus is myopic on a single goal and that goal is lost, I find people who become inconsolable about a life lost.
At that moment, I feel compelled to share with them the perspective that the choice of seeing life through the filter of “a life lost” is really the core variable that is determining that outcome. Life is so incredibly precious and so incredibly short, every single day is a gift and if the sum total of your entire day was to provide a moment of kindness to another person, it might be the only kindness they are receiving. Perhaps your sole purpose that day was to be the benefactor of kindness and to enable another person to feel that much more whole and loved as a result.
There are some days when I feel so entirely sequestered in my home that I wonder if anything I did that day mattered to anyone, including myself. Those are the days that I have to remind myself that I really am not the person I used to be.
I am a person who searches for truths and when I happen upon one that connects for me, I make a concerted effort every day to share that with others. It will never make me rich. It will never generate immortality or accolades, and sometimes all I am is an annoying ding of a text message hitting someone’s phone so they can ignore it. I’m OK with all of that, for every single day that I explore another truth, I am one step further from being the person I was yesterday.