There are a lot of people that believe that human beings can’t and don’t change. If you’ve been burned too many times, it’s easy to become cynical. However, I know from personal experience that change is possible for people who really want it. My past as a serial cheater is just one example of that ability.
- I was perpetually unfaithful in my past relationship. I cheated on pretty much every single partner I was with because I was wildly insecure about myself. I was always looking for love in the wrong places, wanting people to fill a gaping hole in my soul. However, once I learned to start filling that hole with self-love and the love of the universe, I changed over time. Getting sober helped too. I’m now a woman of dignity and grace who treats both myself and other people with deep respect and care.
- There are so many examples of change in the world–I’m just one. I have a cousin who used to be a neo-Nazi. He was an awful white supremacist as a very young guy. Over the years, he realized that he was totally wrong and he shed his prejudice and hatred. He began to make amends for what he’s done. He now has kids, has since covered up his tattoos, and he speaks out against racial violence. He’s just one of many examples of humans who are capable of changing who they are.
- Humans are wildly capable of change. Honestly, the only constant in life is change. Circumstances, people, and places are constantly shifting around us. To think that a person couldn’t adjust and adapt to this is just bogus. I’ve seen so much resiliency in the human spirit. In AA, I watch fall-down drunks and drug addicts who are homeless completely turn their lives around and string together years of sobriety. I then see them go and help others, a complete change from the person they brought in. These humans and many others make those wild changes we’re talking about.
- I think that changing is just becoming who we truly are. In a cheesy spiritual way, I think that when a human sheds old skin and becomes a lovely new person, they’re becoming who they were meant to be all along. The universe intended them to be this new person, there were just some serious barriers along the way. Unfortunately, not all people get to become the ones they’re meant to be, but those that do really deserve credit.
- Change is really hard but worth it. People who do change do so over the course of a long and painful time. Change doesn’t happen overnight and it’s never easy. Rather, change is bone-breaking and gut-wrenchingly difficult. Throwing out old ideas in exchange for new ones is quite the task.
- If you think otherwise, you might want to look within. If you don’t think that someone can change, you may have a person in your life who keeps hurting you or someone you haven’t seen make an ounce of change. Your hurt may be keeping you from having an open mind to others who may be able to truly change. I understand you’re in pain, but try to open up to the possibility that not everyone is the same and that people can make a change.
- Think about the little changes you make day-to-day. Remember that day you stopped biting your nails? The day you stopped texting and driving? Every day you make little (or sometimes big) changes that all add up to being a different person. Take a look at those changes and put those thoughts towards thinking that someone may actually be able to make big changes.
- Sometimes you need to see it to believe it. If you’re still not convinced that humans are truly capable of change, you may just have to witness it for yourself. You can find these miraculous changes in any 12-step program, but you can also find them in places like homeless shelters or social services. Often many of the people running organizations like this have been where the clients have been. Better yet, maybe you can find an example of it in your own life. Just promise to keep your eyes peeled!
- I’m not saying everyone can and does change. Despite all this talk about how wonderful it is that people can and do change, it’s also important to acknowledge that some people never change. There are too many folks who never break out of their addiction or never break free from their abusive behavior. You can hope and pray for them, but they just keep disappointing. Don’t let this ruin your ability to see all of the other beautiful miracles in the world.