“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
From time to time I read my old journals. When the moment strikes me, I choose a journal at random from my bookshelf.
This time it was the beautiful green and gold one my mom had given me in what must have been September of 2010, because the writing chronicles my life from September 20, 2010 to January 1, 2011.
Basically, it is my perceptive exactly two years ago.
I had just started my second year of grad school and I was a month into my internship at an outpatient drug and alcohol rehab facility.
I loved what I was doing and I was really good at it. With conviction, I had found my passion.
During these documented months of my life, I was also:
Reading my words from two years ago at a completely different stage in my life has allowed me to see the complex undertaking of change from a new viewpoint.
I had two thoughts in reading them:
I need to stop every now and then to thank myself for doing this difficult personal work and give myself credit for what I have accomplished.
While I am still working on many of the things on the list, I have come a long way.
I believe we are a constant work-in-progress and never a finished product, but withoutrecognition of milestones and bravery, what’s the point of all the hard work and change?
What am I working so hard for if I can’t enjoy the benefits of being an ever-evolving, flawed creature of the human race?
After giving myself a pat on the back, a hug, and a homemade smoothie, I remembered that there was a second thought…
I am curious about how change actually happens.
What does changing really entail? What on my list have I continued to change? How did I change that which has changed?
What on my list did I stop working on changing? What hasn’t changed that I wanted, and still want, to change? How can I determine progress?
Overall, what is change and how is it accomplished?
Since I’ve documented my life, I can see cyclical patterns in my thoughts, behaviors, and relationships.
I have worked to create what I think can serve as a successful 10-Point Protocol for Change:
1. Assess how things are now.
What do you see in yourself? What are you doing? How do you operate in a given situation? What consequences (good and bad) are you experiencing because of what you see yourself doing?
2. Accept yourself as you are.
Today, right now in your life, this is who and how you are. Decide that you love yourself no matter what.