I recently read this article, written by Ayodeji Awosika, and immediately downloaded his book You 2.0. If you’ve been following, it’s no secret that I’m trying to reinvent myself and open the next chapter of my life. Some days feel more successful than others, so everything helps. Books, articles, podcasts, all about the seemingly simple concept of transformation, provide pieces to each of our complex puzzles but in the end we alone write our story.
The chapter I just finished in You 2.0 is about reframing transformation—instead of trying to change who you are, you need to let go of your old self and become anew. I especially like this, as it’s the same vision of transformation that I’ve used for society. The analogy of the metamorphosis in which a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly is always relevant here. If we try to hold on to our past selves, or the stories we’ve created, we will never be able to step into our new self. Only by killing our old self can we be born again. Our past remains the same, but we no longer hold on to it and allow it to control our future. The same logic can be applied to our current cultural situation.
Yesterday I read yet another article about how we face certain biological annihilation continuing down our current path, and perhaps we are too far down that path to prevent it at this point. In spite of all the facts being right there in front of us over and over again, we just keep going as if doing the same things is going to change our destiny. There are countless organizations and millions of people who are trying to change the system and make the world a better place and yet, the outcomes have only gotten worse. No one is actually working on true transformation because that would involve giving up what we currently have and letting something new form. That’s scary, scarier perhaps than our current march to certain planetary doom.
Back to the self-improvement vs. self-transformation analogy. Ayodeji writes that “change is hard when you think of yourself as a fixed entity with characteristics so hard-wired they’re inescapable.” In order to truly transform one must let go of their current selves through acceptance and forgiveness. We must accept that who we currently are and who we want to become are incompatible and that our current self has made some decisions to get to its present spot. Letting go of the baggage of those decisions, forgiving yourself and moving on to be reborn is the only way forward. Your old self isn’t going to change or improve, at least not in truly meaningful ways. Neither is the world we live in. Our society is so hard-wired that it will keep on going as it is, adapting to any change that any of us think we’re making. It’s time to let it go. It’s time to forgive ourselves for keeping it going and for the pain and destruction that has been wrought in the name of progress. Only by letting it go, and letting the old die can we find ourselves in a new and transformed world.
Have a great weekend, everyone.