Of course, there will be those that will look at you and say, “I knew him/her some years ago and they were …. (such and such a way).”
This scoffing or taunting is their own understanding, why should it be yours? If you liked a certain food or drink, would you decided not to like it based on someone else’s likes and dislikes of food and drink? What about art? Would you change what you liked to suit someone else’s ideals? What about your hair or clothing? Your face? Your style?
Ah, but you see, you have compromised in the past. Your clothing; do they not match the culture or expectation of the modern society around you, or do you adhere to that which you prefer without the need to conform?
The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.
It would be better for me … that multitudes of men should disagree with me rather than that I, being one, should be out of harmony with myself.
These are things that set you aside from the base model of being. Like a drawing dummy, we are all, mostly, formulated a certain way - head on top, bottom at the, well, bottom - it is the details that make us independent and unique. Yet these ‘details’ are the things that most of us feel need criticising. It is the details that make some feel as the oddball out.
We have all played many parts in this great act of life. We have been the hero and the foe, the victim and the perpetrator, the liar and truth teller, the condemner and the Savior, the cheat and the cheater. Now you may say that you have not been this or that, yet truth in your heart you will find times that you desired the action of the behaviour as much as you may have been repulsed by it. For a liar is easiest to be seen by another who has been, or still, is a liar themselves. A once drug junkie can tell another junkie – it is as if the smell of their choice of devilments is identifiable by the nostrils of one to the other. A person who has had depression can see the signs of depression more easily in another who is suffering. The anxious can sympathise with the emotional strain of another who is anxious. It is a language that is unheard and invisible yet spoken and written on one another. In most, though not all, cases one cannot help the other for they themselves are striving for the breath of life against the waters of their horror tides.
It is one of the reasons that people have the most trouble when they start their, as some call it, progression of betterment, that they find the judgement of others impacts them. The ex-husband/wife/friend that calls them a hypocrite or a charlatan. The parents that think that it is taking them away from their faith or religious practices; perhaps even as far as concern that their children might be looking at joining a cult. Children who would like their parent to be happy but still want the parent that they know and are familiar with (as unhappy and unbalanced as that may be). Friends who are not on the same path and want nothing to change or, worse, yearn for the ‘good old days.’
It is difficult to understand that, as the saying goes, ‘people change’ – for it is the change that is sudden and happens in front of someone that does not want the person or themselves (or the situation) to change that finds this expression hardest to swallow. Still, change will happen. Their own physiques will age and no amount of arguing with nature will stop that, however this is slow and easier to accept. To deny this is to deny their own selves which does no good at all.
When it comes to the matters of a spiritual or philosophical sense, things do sometimes move at a slower pace; yet not always. If a person does not see you for twenty years, they often are shocked at the change (usually physically). It is foolishness not to expect the inner to change as well. This is also to be remembered in the reverse. To be accepting of another’s change, regardless of your perception of it being for the better or worse. If viewed from the greater sense of being, change is neither good nor bad, it is merely change. Change has been since the beginning of time and spoken of by all the great philosophers and thinkers, for one cannot think without questions that crave answering and both the questions and the answers change the thinker. It is, as it always has been.
We, as a society, have been conditioned to follow one another around in a game of ‘follow the leader’ and yet no one quite knows where the leader is. We jumble around and fumble in the dark, being told to act a certain way and think a certain way. Our cultures, religions, parents, peers, neighbours and even the stranger that you meet on the street will tell you quick enough how to be, but they are just regurgitating words that they have heard somewhere else. What good is one, when they are like another, for the progression of our society/civilisation? How can anyone ‘think outside the box’ when they are told to conform to it? To pretend you are still in your twenties when really you are in your fifties. To feel the obligation of following the latest trend/diet/gossip just to be part of a group. This is where the mind remains if stagnant and clinging to what never really was. Breaking free of following the nonexistent leader has always been desired once the pattern has been realised.
Everything flows and nothing abides, everything gives way and nothing stays fixed.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
Do not wait for anybody or anything. Do whatever you can. Build your hope on none.
To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.
Whenever asked how to do such a thing as finding a better way, it is usually responded to in much the same way. My way is not going to be your way. We can all try to head to the city of London, but none of us will take the same path to get there. Even if you are standing directly beside me or behind me, your path will still be different. You will see, feel, etc. the experience in your own way. Questioning one's own thoughts is a good start for anyone... as thoughts are the difference in the way the path is perceived. Just as Socrates asked ‘Why’ in order to find out more, to start speaking out aloud, as though someone else is in the room and act as though you expect an answer (note that this is not advisable in a crowd or around those that do not understand you… in other words, do this when you are alone; also, this is not actually done to receive a verbal answer, more of a feeling within).
Often you may find this awkward and silly, so start will something simple like narrating what you are doing, i.e., “Now I just have to get the dinner ready. What should we have? I wonder? What do you think?” This is not to make yourself mad now, as state above, to actually receive a verbal answer. It is de-conditioning. This allows an opening of the mind to possibility. In a mental way this allows one to feel freer to be themselves. It is sometimes difficult for people to be calm in themselves when they have been taught by our society to 'be such-and-such a way' and ignore our own emotional content. Therefore, being able to speak at all for some is a huge step forward. It is the freedom to know oneself; emotionally and spiritually. This is the first step to being you, for being able to speak (or think as you would like) gives the choice of your life.
Take crooked speech away from yourself and put devious lips far away from you.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Language is power... Language can be used as a means of changing reality.
 George Bernard Shaw
 Heraclitus of Ephesus
 The Bible: Matthew 7:3
 Marcus Aurelius
 Alan W. Watts
 Swami Vivekananda
 John Henry Newman
 Mishlei: Proverbs - Chapter 4
 The Bible: Matthew 6:6
 Adrienne Rich