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For the longest time, I always thought that I wasn’t a strong person if I didn’t have tried and true convictions.  Since I was shy most of my childhood, I chose to remain quiet when others would get into arguments (or just heated discussions) about specific topics.  I wasn’t sure enough in myself to say just anything and I would have crumbled pretty quickly if others proved me wrong or at least challenged me.

Now, I understand the value of being challenged.  And I’m MUCH more comfortable being wrong. I don’t mind it at all. In the scheme of things, what does it really matter?

I have done A LOT of ruminating in the last few months about how and why our minds can (and perhaps should) change. Most often our opinions are solid enough that it takes time or a major life event to change them.  I’ve certainly had plenty of that lately!

Changing our minds can mean a number of things. It may mean we’ve learned something and felt it to the core unlike before. For instance, I lost all belief in marriage after my separation and divorce.  Natural course, right? I swung to the opposite end of the spectrum and tried open relationships.  I did my research and was all for it. I embraced honest and safe freedom.  From my perspective, it seemed to be the answer.

But then, my mind changed again.  I don’t know if I can easily explain… no wait, I can.

I fell in love.

Guess what?  It’s been a long time.  I forgot what it felt like.  But it’s more than that.

I finally believe and can vouch for the notion that when you meet that person, when you meet someone and you have no doubt about how they feel, your mind changes.

Remember when I said I don’t want kids here?  Well, that’s history. I’m not saying I will.  I’m not saying I won’t.  But I am saying I’m open to the idea, if the timing works out. And for the first time it’s not about providing the other person with something they want.  It’s about celebrating our relationship and expanding this love to a family. It’s an amazing thought.

So, how did I go from wishing for stubborn convictions to embracing flexibility and change?

I started thinking about my happiness and stopped concerning myself with the opinions of others. I always believed in my head that others would be impressed with ideals for which I consistently advocated. But doesn’t this often turn into “narrow-mindedness”? Isn’t this putting us in danger of not learning?

Personally, I’ve found that stubbornness precludes us from valuable growth and development.  How can I welcome evolution if I’m “stuck” with the same ideas that I had years ago?  Granted, even through hard lessons that test us we still may believe the same thing.  Even in this case, perspective changes and belief becomes stronger.  But believe you me, I’ve met and heard about plenty of people who hold on to their beliefs just “because”.  Not me.

My good friend also offered me some very wise words.  Doesn’t it follow that if our minds can be quickly and radically changed, that our beliefs weren’t true to begin with? It stands to reason that our beliefs will slowly evolve as we hone them with each new lesson learned, but the core will still remain.  But if an inconceivable shift happens in an instant then something incredible has occurred.

For me, I understand now that I swung from left to right to find a middle ground somewhere.  I needed to explore the entire spectrum before finally settling on the color that is “just right”.

At the core, I’ve always been the same person.  Someone who values honesty, openness, intelligence, patience, understanding, love.  It’s the gathering of specialized knowledge that allows me, encourages me to hone my particular beliefs.  I’ve finally learned to not only hear my heart, but LISTEN. There’s a quote by Rumi to this effect:

“Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it. Whoever has polished it more sees more — more unseen forms become manifest to him.”

I don’t believe in black and white anymore.   Life doesn’t have to exist in dualities and there are no absolutes. Happiness comes in gradients and changes when we change.  

I believe it nonsense to categorize and define everything.  But if we do, who’s to say that we cannot change our minds?