I could see the look on her face—so many emotions passed in the blink of an eye.
First, surprise. Then recognition on her face and repulsed curiosity in her voice. “What are you doing here?” she asked, her tone flat and uninviting.
Her reaction hurt my heart, but nearly as quickly as the emotions swept over her historically stoic face, I realized this face from the past was a gift.
Have you ever changed so profoundly that when you’re greeted by someone from your past as if you’re still your old self, it’s jarring? You can read their facial and body language and know they’re seeing a version of you that no longer exists.
Have you lived through one of those times? Times where you changed so much that you look back and don’t recognize the old version of yourself? Perhaps you don’t even like the old version of yourself?
Rather than cringing, running from, pushing down, or fully denying that version of yourself, it’s important to send love to those earlier versions of yourself. There is an opportunity to recognize that person’s reaction is a reminder of just how far you’ve come. You can silently thank them for the reflection and move forward, honoring yourself and your growth.
You are allowed to outgrow your former self, your former life, shed old layers, and unzip old versions of yourself. You have permission to grow, evolve, and change. Beyond permission, your soul wants this for you. It wants you to experience all life has to offer. You can honor who you were and the lessons you learned, then send love and healing to that former version of yourself.
Release your old self and allow yourself to evolve into your next version. It’s this and that—honoring and learning, releasing and evolving.
As humans, we are not here on this beautiful planet to remain stagnant—to simply be born, become young adults to merely subsist, and then leave our bodies at an eventual endpoint. Rather, we are intended to be in near-constant states of changing and growing, learning and teaching, using our experiences as building blocks to grow into the next version of ourselves.
We accept this cycle of change and growth when our children are young, watching them in awe as they learn first how to eat, then how to talk and walk, changing by leaps and bounds every year until they complete their schooling. We notice their physical changes as we post start- and end-of-school-year photos, marveling at how much they have changed. Their physical transformation into the new, older version of themselves is striking.
Why don’t we honor our own transformations with the same state of awe and celebration?
As we age, we each have the option to continue to grow or become stagnate. We can choose to embrace the changes we move through. Rather than fighting, ignoring, or running from our own evolution, we can honor our growth, embrace these changes, and view them as opportunities.
Here are some tips to help support your evolution:
1. Look at the parts of your old self that you don’t love, that might even make you cringe, and get curious. What have you learned? How can you celebrate that learning?
2. Accept that this learning is a part of your time on Earth. Know that all those experiences created this wiser version of you.
3. Love your younger self and honor all it taught you.
4. Find gratitude for the awareness your older self now has from these lessons. This awareness shows who you want to be now and how you want to show up in the world. It also shows you who you no longer wish to be.
5. Bless and release those lessons. Keep releasing in order to fully step into the next version of yourself.
6. Intentionally create the next version of yourself. And the next one after that. As you create, surround yourself with people who resonate with your soul, and be mindful of what you consume. We consume not only food and drinks but social media, news, music, books, and entertainment of all types. Think of those things as an energy bath. Are you bathing in the right energy, supporting your future self? (If not, what is one small change that can you make today to start creating the life you want?)
7. Notice this new version of you in all your Light and celebrate your new way of walking through the world. Notice the environment around you and how you’ve shifted. Allow yourself to celebrate this incredible person you’ve grown into. Give yourself an energetic hug of appreciation for listening to your soul’s calling. This likely means you’ve ignored the outside world’s push to make you fit into a mold, dropped old masks, and grown into the incredible being who looks back at you in the mirror. Celebrate how far you’ve come and look forward with excitement to how far you’ll go.
8. Trust that life has brought you and will continue to bring you the right experiences to help you learn and grow.
9. Embrace your own inner wisdom, your soul-led knowledge, your true self who dances without ego attachment. Look for ways to sprinkle your knowledge, love, kindness, and joy into the world. Let your evolution be your legacy.