What Happens When People Don’t Like How You’ve Changed?

I was looking through my Instagram account recently and came across this lovely piece of art from Danielle Bertoli’s site, “Struckinsideout,” that immediately captured my attention.  Surely a sign that the Universe was speaking to me.

Over the past year, I’ve heard these words, “You’ve changed,” or something similar, more and more frequently.  Each comment was an implied accusation that my apparent change was somehow offensive to them.  I had somehow let them down because I had said or done something that was far beyond their comfort zone.  My changing didn’t fit who they knew or thought me to be. Has this ever happened to you?  It’s weird when people try to box you in and let you know that you’ve crossed some imaginary line for them.

Moment of truth – over the years, I know that I’ve been guilty of the very same thing and I have, no doubt, inflicted the same accusatory tone on others.  When someone I’d thought of as one way went and decided that’s not who they were anymore, my brain would go WTH???

But now I get it.  Now that I’m the one changing so much.  But ouch! Change is painful.  Out of necessity, change requires growth.  A shirking of the old skin that leaves you in a vulnerable stage until the new skin grows in and has time to toughen up.

I’m not always comfortable having to shed my old skin.  And I’m definitely not comfortable being in the vulnerable stage.  Feeling a little exposed and a little raw but the payoff is great.  I’m becoming more of myself every day.

From past experience I know that change is powerful and once that growth gains momentum, there’ll be no stopping me.  I’m learning to lean into it more and it’s kind of thrilling to embrace the new me.

I almost can’t wait until someone says “You’ve changed,” with that familiar accusatory tone.  Instead of taking offense or feeling frustrated, I’m going to walk into that assertion and embrace it for all it’s worth.  In my heart I’ll give thanks for the epiphany that told me it was time to change.  I’ll dig in and be okay with those that choose not to be with me for the remainder of the ride.

On the other side of change, there are new experiences, new perspectives and possibilities awaiting me.  And perhaps even joining new friends to join me on the journey.

From now on, when I hear “You’ve Changed”, I will speak from the heart when I say, “I hope so.”


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