change is good

yesterday Matt Gates and i went to a conference where our friend Joy Eggerichs was speaking.  she’s beautiful and funny and smart and overall awesome.  part of her presentation was an Ask Joy time.  college kids got to ask her whatever they wanted to know about relationship stuff.  bless their hearts.

did i make a note of a couple of the questions for blog fodder?  yes.

did i butt in and offer a bit of my ridiculous advice to young and impressionable minds?  yes.

i’m pretty sure Joy and i are still friends though…

did i drive away thinking, “my lord, they look like babies and i’m old enough to be their super hot, still young looking mother.”  sadly, yes.

but one girl asked a question i think is important and a lot of people worry about when it comes to relationships.

how do you deal with change?  when each of us is changing over time, how do we stay connected?

great questions.  smart girl.

here’s my answer, which will include some wisdom i stole from Joy.

1.  stop thinking of change as a bad thing. – what if nothing ever changed?  bohhh-ring….  you already know you are going to be a different person in five years.  and if you’re anything like the rest of humanity, probably pretty grateful that’s the case.  i know if i was still the same person i was in college, i’d probably have to kill myself for everyone’s benefit.

2.  look forward to change. – think of it as an adventure.  be excited about who you are going become individually and as a couple.  the future you is your prize in the Cracker Jack box.  only hopefully with more staying power than those rub-on tattoos.

3.  have grace for change. – this one i stole from Joy.  next i’m taking her shoes.  she’s absolutely right.  if you committed to walk through life with someone, then give some space, some grace and even some encouragement for her own changes and growth.  if you’re going to change, you need to allow for that in your spouse, too.  so there.

4.  change does not mean distance. – as you both mature and experience more life and discover new things about yourselves, it doesn’t mean that you will grow apart or lose the one you loved in the beginning.  in fact, it can be quite the opposite.  when you are focused on maintaining a healthy relationship, the changes that come along will only serve to aid you in making that happen.  why?  because the things you will choose to feed into yourself will always be taking the other person’s well-being into account.  boom!

now to blow all of that up.  not really, but it will seem like it at first.  suck it up, buttercup.

my husband always says, “people don’t change, they just become more like themselves.” 

whaaaaaa?  but you just said….

gather up all the pieces of your mind that was just blown and i will explain.  over time we begin to choose those pieces of ourselves that are most important to us.  the desire to feed those parts of ourselves is what determines what turns and paths we go down on our way to who we are.

go ahead and read that again.  take it in.

this can take us to a good place where we’re decent people or to a bad place where toolbags live.

it is all determined by your personal motivations.  if you are motivated to become someone who values others and understands that you must offer grace because you need grace, you will make someone an excellent, changeable, change-worthy, spouse.  marry someone with the same motivation and you will change both individually and together into something worthy of envy.

if your motivation is self-serving, you could change into the guy who ends up blaming his wife for his affair because she gained a few pounds.  probably after bearing your children, you worthless dong.

people don’t change, they just become more like themselves.

who are you going to be?

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8 comments on “change is good

  1. If you become more like yourself, the input seems not that important, as the end result is you. When I think of change, I think action. New Years resolutions, future plans, budgetting, losing weight… I believe that the older you grow and the more you put an effort into making yourself a better person, you will become a better version of yourself. I’d see it as follows: You cannot change into someone else, you can change into a better or worse version of who you are now. I do fully agree with your four bullet points and approach to change though :).

    PS. There’s a place where toolbags live? Where would that be?

  2. Tyler Smith says:

    “people don’t change, they just become more like themselves.”

    This quote is spot on.

  3. Jeremy says:

    HAHA! You said dong…

    Great post Sharideth. This is something close to my heart. When you change, you can’t be afraid to share your change with the people close to you. Sometimes other people don’t see your change as something that is going to stay and they become hard to deal with.

  4. Rachel says:

    “it is all determined by your personal motivations. if you are motivated to become someone who values others and understands that you must offer grace because you need grace, you will make someone an excellent, changeable, change-worthy, spouse. marry someone with the same motivation and you will change both individually and together into something worthy of envy.”

    [word]

    It’s always about the heart, eh?

  5. Maybe you appear to change but you’re just becoming more in touch with yourself. thats good. Maybe, the person you thought you were wasn’t really you but you didn’t realize it because you fit in, simply to appease others, not realizing that you never knew who you were. When you come to that realization, thats good. So, before you take too many steps forward, think about what direction you’re walking because the steps you take will lead you to what YOU will be. So, Keep becoming more like yourself until your subconscious mind completely aligns with your conscious mind. Until your conscious state agrees with every one of your natural reactions. Once that happens then you are ready to broaden your horizons & take the steps toward change.. At that point, everything you add will be added onto the real you… the foundation must be solid before you decorate the house…if the foundation is unsteady then the house will collapse or continuously experience damage by obstacles that you won’t understand.. It all leads to you. Whether its your fault or not, you’re the one that has to deal with the situations that arise in your life. If you have a thorough understanding of yourself then you will have gained peace of mind. Peace of mind that the decisions you make are the ones that are right for you. Experience in this world collide with your faith everyday. They test our faith, they test our beliefs. How we deal with them, whether we choose to battle, to ignore, to embrace, to laugh, or a combination of those will give us the answers we need.. the answers that to the question…. was that me or was that someone i was supposed to be. Did i react, or did my emotions react.. Reflecting on these moments without analyzing them too deeply will supply us with the answers. Becoming more like ourselves is the battle… Once that happens, Change is Easy!

  6. You just raped my mind and touched my heart at the same time.

    Genius!

  7. “people don’t change, they just become more like themselves.”

    over time we begin to choose those pieces of ourselves that are most important to us. the desire to feed those parts of ourselves is what determines what turns and paths we go down on our way to who we are.

    This is probably just another language/connotation thing, but to me this sounds like you’re saying that as we grow older we become caricatures of ourselves. I really hope that’s not really what it means.

    In some ways, as I have grown I have learned more about myself and grown in that way. In other ways, I have worked on skills that I have, honing them and practising them because I think they are important. but in other ways still, I have discovered new things that weren’t a part of my identity before – my interest in sports is one of those things, for example.

    And, in another way, I definitely have become “more like myself”, in that I have battled back from severe depression.

    As to the rest of the OP: I think you know you’re on the right track as a couple when the changes you see make you fit more closely, rather than drifting apart, or the changes follow a similar trajectory.

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