"One of the greatest things about science is it's assumption that what it thinks it knows today will probably be proven wrong tomorrow. The theories of yesterday have served as platforms to climb higher, as Sir Isaac Newton meant when he said, 'If I have been privileged to see farther than others, it's because I stood on the shoulders of giants.'"
~ What The Bleep Do We Know
We're often so used to operating from our subconscious mind and moving through life on autopilot that we neglect to pay attention to our ubiquitous assumptions. We tally up observations about the things we've done and the people we've been, and we use these to form arbitrary beliefs about ourselves and others. We judge people we know for doing certain things, judge ourselves for doing the same, judge that others must be judging us for this... and the insanity continues. With complete disregard for scientific inquiry we often hold these assumptions to be true for the duration of our physical existence on this planet.
While it might sound like a nice idea to simply cast our assumptions and judgments aside, this is an unreasonable task. We will never be entirely free of judgment, just as we will never be entirely free of the egoic mind. Judgment can provide an intuitive purpose and offers a protective function to the self-preserving nature of the ego. Judgments are there for survival, to serve as defense mechanisms; it is in bringing awareness to our defenses that we are able to harness our power, willfully choosing our thoughts, words, and subsequent actions. What if? Rather than casting our assumptions aside, we took a page from Sir Isaac Newton's figurative book and became our own giants, standing on the shoulders of our previous identities. Don't we all have that supreme power? The power to be our greatest heroes and our most threatening foes?
I was speaking with somebody several weeks ago regarding his incredible physical transformation in health and the mental hurdles he overcame in the process. I had asked him what had made the difference. When had he decided he had enough? When did he first have the realization that he had a choice in the circumstances he accepted in his life? When did he first feel the sides of his mouth begin to curl upward into a subtle smirk at the thought of his transformation? His response to me was both familiar and surprising. It was simple, logical, and somewhat counterintuitive, I could relate.
He felt comfortable stepping into his TRUE self when he had moved for a job, to a place where he knew absolutely nobody. What shocked me about his statement was the sudden realization that it sparked within me. There wasn't anything tangibly real that had been holding him back. It wasn't the place he moved to that gave him the freedom to be himself, it was the LOSS of the place he had been in previously, the people he had been surrounded by, the continual reminders of who he had been. We (professionals) in the wellness and medical field place huge emphasis on having a support system in place when making drastic life changes. Moving for a job away from friends and family and simultaneously deciding to make incredibly challenging life changes (both mentally and physically) sounds inordinate. Yet, I completely understand the inclination. On a completely human level, I get it. It's a highly valuable lesson to learn that you can often be your greatest support system.
"One story sounds good until another is told."
It took him being away from everyone for him to realize how the assumptions in his environment (physical, social, etc.) had impacted his personal choices. He had succumb, as we frequently do, to the theory of the looking-glass-self and the ideology that we are who people say we are. His thoughts and beliefs about himself were in agreement with the thoughts and beliefs others displayed towards him. As Charles Horton Cooley says: "I imagine your mind, and especially what your mind thinks about my mind, and what your mind thinks about what my mind thinks about your mind." It wasn't until he was in a new place, where nobody knew who he had been, that he suddenly felt the freedom to become who he really wanted to be.
We hold a lot of assumptions and judgments regarding our own identities. We like to label things neatly and put them into boxes, people included. Sometimes we allow our established masks (even if we no longer connect with them) to shackle us to the empty shell of our past lives, hindering our personal growth and further development. There is great power and freedom in losing the reminders of all the identities you have previously embodied. It is clear that in this process of self-forgetting we move on from who we have been and into who we are meant to be. After all it is often change that brings about the chance for new opportunity. So let's throw off those masks, run towards change, and take a giant leap outside of our proverbial comfort zone.
"No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you've come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself."
I have personally experienced this freedom as I have recreated myself more times than I can count. I have changed through every friendship, relationship, breakup, job, educational experience, and self-perpetuating pattern in my life. I lost bits of myself in every situation I participated in that didn't resonate with my higher calling. The beautiful thing about life is that it is also in these places that I discovered my own divinity, and ultimately found myself in the process. It is always safe to come home to your true self, no matter how much time you've spent away. There are so many things in my life that I am grateful to have experienced and entirely elated to have moved on from. New places can sometimes give us the freedom and confidence to have the courage to be someone we've never been before.
"Why do we keep recreating the same reality? Why do we keep having the same relationships? Why do we keep getting the same jobs over and over again? In this infinite sea of potentials that exist around us, how come we keep recreating the same realities?"
~ Dr. Joe Dispenza
I encourage you to own your story, leave the pieces of yourself you've lost behind, and start gathering the new pieces you find. Come home to yourself. Be a scientist in your own life and employ the belief that what you assume about yourself today will in all likelihood be proven wrong tomorrow. Take note of the assumptions held by those you surround yourself with and bring awareness to your own judgments. These can serve as the mountains you struggle to climb or the giants whose shoulders can take you to new heights in your life, the choice is yours. Encourage yourself, support yourself, by God reach out to me if I can be of any service, or reach out to those you love if you need a helping hand. Stand on the shoulders of giants to see farther than you ever have before. Recreate yourself, again, and again, and then once more, and become the person YOU decide you want to be. There's a certain freedom to be found in losing yourself in the woods of self-discovery and finding your creative power, coming out the other side a totally new YOU. We are all in this together.