To Evolve

pink and white lotus flower
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C.W. Stratton
Evolve is a word or concept that continually gets thrown around, especially as it relates to doing better or improving. So, why aren’t we more inclined to use the word better or improve? Maybe it’s due to the aforementioned words appearing too plain, bland, or self-explanatory. The word Evolve may seem more of a process that includes sequential stages. Or, it may be a word that is used by intellectuals to identify the process of change and its importance. The definition of Evolve is to achieve or develop gradually, or to produce by natural evolutionary processes. No matter how you may interpret the word, the simple concept is about change; if it be in position, thinking or way of living.
This short writing is just a preliminary/introduction to ideas and breakdown of EVOLVE. Evolve is change. Evolve in this context is about positive change and evolve is a process that will hopefully result in lasting change. EVOLVE will present steps and positive ways to identify barriers that many of us may have, or have failed to recognize, in our pursuit of making lasting change in our lives. Some of those barriers are a result of past experiences, not necessarily traumatic experiences, but experiences that have impacted our thinking and ways of doing things. You know, those things we consider NORMAL, when in fact they really aren’t. You may not be able to recognize the faulty thinking patterns at the moment, and how they have guided some of the impulsive/bad decisions that we may have made along our journey. We will get an opportunity to truly embark on our past experiences in the world and hopefully obtain a different perspective of our current position. In doing this, we will begin working on the Self-Narrative; the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. The Narrative has had significant role in how we have lived our lives. It has guided us to this point and it’s time to change it. The same story we tell ourselves is the story we tell the rest of the world. Change may be needed. EVOLVE is coming but in the meantime, look within and begin identifying the faulty thinking/beliefs and assess the narrative that you’ve relayed to yourself over and over.

With Me or Against Me

C. W. Stratton

Believe yourself

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”

~Oscar Wilde

Saying “if you’re not with me, you’re against me”, isn’t an accurate statement in many respects. However, you will hear this statement made in many settings/interactions; family, friends, social and employment. There are those times when an individual doesn’t actually verbalize these exact words but if you don’t agree with a position they hold on a given situation, this is relayed; even non-verbal. Some people are shunned or talked about when they’re not present because that individual has decided to take an independent position regarding a given situation. There are instances when a group of individuals may have an idea about a particular situation and since the majority agrees with what’s presented, it is relayed as accurate. However, amongst that group there is a tendency of at least one individual within that group that may not actually agree with the consensus. This can quite challenging for that individual and there are times where that individual may have the accurate information but feels compelled to stand with the group and not “rock the boat”. The contributing factor regarding this could be a fear of rejection or our desire to please others.

There are so many that have been in that position and over time of consistently doing this, they make it a common practice. The fear of having an original thought and not exposing it, especially when accurate, can have a negative impact on the outcome of what’s being discussed, along with impacting your growth and development as a person. Fear is crippling in itself and the fear of what others think about you can be just as damaging. We have the innate ability to have independent thoughts and actions but there are times when you choose the easy route and allow others to make the decisions for us; through agreeing with the majority even if we don’t really agree. Think of a situation(s) when you were amongst others and there was a consensus about something and you didn’t agree with, but never said anything. Many of us wish that moment could occur again so we could speak up. It brings you back to “If you’re not, with me, you’re against me”. Would it be such a tragedy to relay what you know to be true, despite the majority’s position? No! It would mean you’re expressing your knowledge of a given situation and your desire for a positive outcome. Just because my thoughts are unlike others doesn’t mean I’m against them. It means I don’t agree with what’s being relayed; that’s all. It shouldn’t create resentment, distrust or perpetuate a lack of commitment to the group.

We all have some sort of standard when it comes to morals, beliefs and values. When we encounter interactions or discussions that totally go against those standards, we shouldn’t have to compromise them in order to please others. It’s not what others think about us that’s important, what’s important is what we think of ourselves. Because at the end of the day, we are left with our own thoughts and assessments of situations. Do we rest peacefully, or do we lay with regret? Live Life Fulling, Live Life Wholeheartedly, Live Boundless.