Sometimes it can be hard to discern how we are changing. We tend to think of ourselves as fixed, consistent beings who are steady through time, and to attribute change to people, events and things around us. I often hear people saying things about themselves like ‘I am a cautious person’ or ‘I worry all the time’ and know that while this is their experience right now, it is also not all of the story.
Part of my role as a psychotherapist is to be open to difference. I need to be spotting change and movement in my clients so that I can stay current with them. There will be things they notice, and things they do not notice. Similarly, I will notice some things and not others, according to what I am alive and alert to.
I often find that it is hard for people to discern how they are changing. Often changes have been accumulating for quite some time before they reach the threshold above which they are significant and noticeable. It’s a lovely moment when a client notices themselves doing things differently in a way that they have been wanting, a real occasion for celebration.
As well as reflecting on what is going well, and not so well, a good practice to get into is to notice what is the same, and what is different. We can do this about ourselves, others, and contexts / situations. We each have a preference for what we naturally notice, sameness, evolution or difference, and this will colour our experience moment to moment. Stretching this muscle to be aware of more of what is happening is useful, because it helps us both to feel safe in the stability of what is not currently changing, and to be energised by the opportunities that the newness of change offers.
We are complex folk. We are not consistent moment to moment, let alone day to day or year to year. We are continuously becoming, morphing and adjusting. Each time we get different information our consciousness updates our perceptions of what is to be expected, and our experience of what happens changes. We are never static, and that can be both disconcerting and liberating.
Ask yourself, what do you love about yourself and want to maintain in the near future? What would it uplift you to evolve? What changes would improve your quality of life?
While much is not in our control, neither are we passengers to our experience. For support in coming to know more of yourself more of the time, get in touch.