Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Though I love to learn and always want to be growing, I don’t like to contradict myself. The idealist in me wants to be consistent with everything I have ever said and everything I will ever say. While at the same time I’m loving the freedom that has come with learning, growing and changing my mind about some things over the years.
But I don’t like the feeling of saying something different today than I did yesterday or five years ago, because I might have to explain why I’ve changed my mind and too many times, I’m not sure why … I just know I did.
The path of learning and growing is rarely a straight line for me. It’s generally bumpy and has a lot of switchbacks. One day I might read a new thought in a book, hear a report or have a conversation where I gain some information. I begin exploring the new idea in my mind and maybe my thoughts begin to change, but then they circle back to the familiar place again … because familiar is comfortable.
But later, I’m back to exploring the new information again and in a discussion, I hear myself flesh out the new idea to someone else and I realize that I have changed my mind and I wonder when that happened.
And too often I don’t know how to explain the process to others …
But inspite of that, I’ve been trying to relax my wish to never want to contradict myself. I’m learning to enjoy and trust the twists and turns of life, while being aware of the difference between learning something myself and changing my mind versus flip-flopping my opinions based on what others think and say.
Unless I want to quit living, learning and growing now, it will be impossible to never contradict myself … but who knows, maybe tomorrow I’ll say something different.