Remember your first bite of fresh-baked cookies?
The smells of sugar and spices and chocolate, the warmth of the oven, the hustle & bustle of the kitchen… amazing what we store as experience. Equally memorable, at least for me: my first ride on a horse (okay… it was a shetland pony), my first dog, my first fall from a tree…. Our experiences and the way we store, recall and respond to those experiences becomes our life, and “life shapes who we are”…or does it??
I believe the reverse may be truer. Whether intentional or not, WE very much shape our lives with far greater force than life shapes us. How else does the world end up with such different humans when we are really all experiencing the same events? I’m pretty sure I saw the same lame superbowl that everyone else did….
So if we see the same games, go to basically the same schools, get stuck in the same traffic jams,… why don’t we all have the same lives? The things we believe about ourselves are the product of a stream of beliefs created by stuff we tell ourselves: I’m smart – I’m stupid – I’m creative – I’m bad at math – I’m a perfectionist – I’m sloppy – I can dance – I can’t sing – I’m fat – all of these characteristics are only true because we make them so; because that’s what we are thinking and that’s what we’ve convinced ourselves to be. So we can change them too,… if we so choose.
C’mon. Seriously. Believe me, the other old saying; “You can be anything you want to be.” is really quite true. Some kids get a head start playing chess or doing math puzzles at 4, but they gotta play hockey with the kid that started practicing at 3. Just try it; run an experiment. Always been bad at crosswords? Pick up a beginners book and start practicing. Save the New York Times puzzle for next week. Learn a new language? Try Rossetta Stone, your i-phone app, talking to neighbors…
Or not. No one is forcing you to change anything, except of course, time. It is the one thing that keeps moving. Changing. In one direction. So you can resist the inevitable forces that come with evolution, or you can continue to grow, change, shift, allow the new things that move into your life bring new experiences, perhaps new understandings to you. Perhaps learning how to grow and evolve with change will make life not only easier but a happier experience.
There are no guarantees…. that’s why life is worth living every day, every moment, with all your heart.
…and by the way if you’ve not been paying attention (like me..) the Olympics are right around the corner. This is their official song. I’m cheering for all of them…and a couple of guys from the US bobsled team that came and visited my barn…and made friends with a horse called “Manoffire”