“What I’ve learned over the years is that in order to nurture your inner stability and maintain your personal identity, you have to first figure out who you are as a person and harness an unwavering connection with that person.” ~Etta D Richards
Change is the only constant thing in life. Some of us change for the better, some of us change for the worse but whatever the case reinventing yourself is constant and necessary because life is like a pendulum, always in motion and sometimes this motion can leave us unbalanced. I am at the end of a two week holiday to The Bahamas. The trip was long overdue, it was my first trip back home since leaving for Scotland five years ago. When I left five years ago I needed a change in my life, in fact, we all needed a change. The kids needed to broaden their horizon and I just needed spread my wings. My inner stability had become pretty unravelled by the daily routine of a perpetual cycle of going nowhere fast. The trip home was not only necessary but it brought back the reality of why I left in the first place. It was great seeing family, old friends as well as reconnecting to the place, burning bridges that no longer served a purpose while creating new ones that would be beneficial in the future.
In reconnecting with everyone back home, they were all surprised at how so many aspects of me remained the same. My appreciation for friendship, my empathy, my unique ability to make people feel comfortable and I don’t know how many people said they were surprised I had not picked up the Scottish Accent. For one at the age of fifty, I don’t think I’ll be losing my accent anytime soon. Secondly, all those aspects are a part of my identity. You can only retain your true to yourself by maintaining that inner stability. The stability that keeps you rooted in your heritage and values, it takes a lot of energy pretending to be something you are not.
Inner stability helps us recognize and appreciate our uniqueness. It keeps us grounded to our past, present and future. Inner stability helps us maintain our strengths, our values and ability to connect with those who matter. It was five years since leaving The Bahamas and almost twelve years since I had visited my island home of Andros. To be able to reconnect with everyone after all those years proved to me that if we remain true ourselves, we remain true to others. We have a saying back home, “you can take the man, in my instance, woman, from the island but you cannot take the island out of the man.” This is true in more ways than one.
This is my submission to Debbie’s Forgiving Friday series, where she writes about and invite others to share their thoughts on Forgiveness, Self-Love and Personal Growth.
©Etta D. Richards