House Guests: Peggy (left) & TT (on the right)
“While personal growth is a daily task, it may take much longer than expected to see results.”
This week I am hosting a couple of cats which I have not seen in quite a while. 6 years ago, I saw them on a regular basis and they knew me just about as much as their owner. However, life had a change of plans, so after so many years I was wondering if they would remember me.
If you have been reading my articles, you’ll know that many of my themes suggest we point the finger at the mirror and see what we individually can change rather than point at others expecting results from them. Naturally after considering if the cats would remember me, I reflected on where I was 5 years ago compared to today.
In many ways, I am a different person. Personally, I went through a divorce which sparked a desire to see a therapist. Therapy, in turn, was the genesis for much of my personal growth and development. Encouraged by my progress, he recommended writing a book which ultimately became the catalyst to changing the course of my life’s work and purpose.
While it appears that the cats did remember me, the next thought was wondering if people who hadn’t seen me in the same amount of time, would likewise recognize me; or perhaps more accurately, recognize some of those changes in my development as well?
Sometimes it’s important that our growth and development be perceived by others or how else will we know anything has occurred and made positive effects? Someone may be thinking that other people’s opinions don’t matter and while there is a bit of truth to that, let me offer up an alternate perspective.
The way in which we perceive ourselves is vital. If we do not recognize the changes, chances are they haven’t occurred. One of the best ways to validate them is to have others – especially those whom we trust – recognize and tell us. In this instance, their opinion confirms and validates our conviction.
There are aspects of my own development about which I am so certain that even if the world’s foremost mental health expert told me I were wrong, it would not alter my personal perspective. However, when it comes to qualities requiring direct interaction with others such as kindness or generosity, simply believing that we have grown in that area doesn’t make it a fact.
There are times when we question our growth or feel that perhaps we’ve lost some of the ground we gained. The best way to combat those thoughts is through self-assurance which is aided by authentication from close and trusted friends.
This week, take some time to reflect back over the past several years and notice the positive and uplifting changes you have made. Also, go out of your way to validate and affirm the same in others. It just might continue to add to yours as well. Thank you and I look forward to your comments.