Like most everyone, I grew up believing what other people said to me or believing some assumption I had about what they said.
I grew up believing, among other things, that I was impatient and not-at-all creative. I lived my life as though both were true. And if you were to talk to the people who have been closest to me over the years they would definitely concur, especially with the impatient description. It wasn’t something I was proud of but it would surface at times when I least wanted it to.
I have had a chance to explore those beliefs over the past few years and come to new realizations. I have become more patient and a bit more creative as well. But I continued to believe these were new and had not been a part of my past personality. That story was blown apart recently after a conversation with my daughter, Wendy. She had called to tell me that my three-year-old granddaughter, Callie, was now playing with a doll that both I and Wendy had played with as children as well as the Barbie dolls that Wendy had played with. I had made most of the Barbie-doll clothes. As Wendy and I talked, I laughed thinking about those Barbie-doll clothes and how tiny they are and how much patience it took to make them. I laughed thinking of me, the impatient one, making those clothes.
Then I realized that I had made all the clothes for the other doll when I was twelve. Not only had I made the clothes, I had designed them. Then it hit me! I have always been creative and patient, just not 100 percent of the time. In that realization I began to see many other times in my life from childhood on when I had been patient and creative.
How was it that I couldn’t see that before? All I could see were the impatient and noncreative moments of my life. I had missed half my life by believing only half of what was actually true for me. I am all things, I realized, and always have been. This patience and creativity weren’t new behaviors. They had always been there. I am both patient and impatient. I am both creative and not creative. But when I believe that only one aspect is true, it is all I see and becomes how I define myself. It has been great fun seeing the new me with these new realizations.
Try it out for yourself. What labels do you put on yourself, especially the judgmental labels? Find every place you can think of where the opposite is true. Have fun finding a new you.