The progressively shifting line of understanding what is healthy and of growth

The line between what we think is healthy and unhealthy will shift as we go through life. We may like to think the understanding of what is and isn’t healthy would remain stable and fairly static but in reality, it shifts and changes.

Scientists’ and doctors’ bases of knowledge have shifted over the years as they gain more knowledge and have had more time to see long-term how different issues develop.

These changes are transmitted to us through ads, public messaging, documentaries, articles, etc. so not only our understanding of what is healthy will change, but public perception of whether something is good or bad, healthy or not healthy, will change too.

My own understanding of these things has changed considerably over my lifetime, as has my ability to understand how I’m being affected.

We think we’re our own best gauge

We often think we’re our own best gauge of how we’re doing physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally because we’re the ones living in our own skin and dealing with all the various ups and downs of daily life.

That is true, up to a point, but there are times we’re not able to be as objective as we think we are.

Denial and lack of knowledge are 2 of the biggest obstacles to being able to gain a true appreciation of where we currently stand.

Our perception of what is healthy for us shifts over time; as we gain more understanding and experience, our understandings change, as does our ability to develop new tools to be able to handle what’s going on.

This may sound very obvious, but I know that my own past situations and my perceptions of how well I was doing were very much tied to the level of denial I was going through at the time, how much or how little I actually understood and how much I felt I needed to project to others that I was doing better than I actually was.

It can be complicated!

When we come from a background of co-dependency, toxic/abusive behavior, severe criticism, addiction, mental illness, or just plain immaturity, we really don’t know ALL there is to know about what healthy behaviors are, much less how to implement them.

We think we have an idea, but if our personal exposure to healthy behaviors is extremely limited, our ability to understand exactly where we currently stand and where we need to get to can be very haphazard and patchy.

We don’t always choose good sources to get new information from

TV shows, movies, social media, and other forms of social indoctrination don’t accurately show us what is healthy. In fact, they can reinforce the unhealthy perspectives we have, because we have subconscious biases that filter out information we don’t understand, or don’t agree with.

This information bias means that we tend to select the news sources and the recreation sources we most relate to and feel comfortable with, and tend to reject viewpoints, facts, or sources of information that don’t correlate with our thinking.

Instead of getting valuable new information to be able to better navigate through life, we tend to filter out the things we don’t like and that don’t sit well with us at the time.

This can explain why in a world where there is so much information available, people don’t tend to stray very far from what they learned about how to approach life.

Having some kind of intervention can change everything

The teachings and experiences we had when we were younger, tend to repeat and replicate themselves throughout our lives, unless we have someone or something create a sort of intervention or disconnection, allowing us to change our ways of thinking, behaving, and treating others.

Even when we have these kinds of life-changing events, it’s still a struggle to change our mindsets. Unless we learn some new tools, the opportunities for lasting change to happen are slim, because eventually, the old ways tend to creep back in.

It takes determination and focus to change our old ways of thinking. Difficult? Yes, it can be, but it’s all doable!

Where does one start? Where does it end?

The trick is to start with where we are right now and start implementing one small thing.

A small change may seem inconsequential, but it really helps us to see where we are to gain strength and focus to continue.

Change and the possibility for change are infinite. We’re all aging by the minute, the world is changing, and nothing remains static.

That is the natural order, so to expect that at some point we have “arrived” and achieved illumination, spiritual advancement, a high level of wisdom or maturity, and have graduated from the mundane aspects of life, is actually unrealistic. There will always be more to learn and grow from!

I have seen many people proclaiming to have reached a very advanced level spiritually and emotionally, almost as if they’re no longer capable of mundane negative thoughts or actions.

I don’t personally subscribe to trying to project this outwardly, for I feel there is always more to learn.

The more I learn, the more I realize there is to still learn!

It is my belief that if we allow ourselves to believe that the current plateau we find ourselves on is the pinnacle of human development, then we’re deluding ourselves, and actually closing ourselves off from learning more because we then filter out anything new!

Develop a spirit of a beginner!

I heard this many years ago when I was first learning to heal, and it helped me give myself permission to not know everything!

It helped me to see that it was quite okay to be a beginner in some things while being quite skilled at other things.

Developing a Mind of a Beginner is actually very liberating, for it allows us the mental and emotional bandwidth to feel okay with starting over again, or starting something completely new!

The spirit of a beginner allows us to hear or see something new, ask ourselves “What’s this?” and explore it further instead of dismissing it.

The spirit of a beginner helps keep our minds young and flexible, for we allow ourselves to entertain new thoughts, try new things and explore new horizons.

I see this in action with the Beginner Ukrainian class I’m taking. I’m 60 years old and there are half a dozen people who are easily 20 years older than me, learning a complex language, for the sheer pleasure of learning!

The people I see who tell themselves “I’m too old for that” tend to age faster and have more health problems than people who are open to learning! I’ve seen people in their 30s behaving as though they were in their 80s, and people in their 80’s who seemed decades younger!

I’ve seen people in their 50s refuse to learn anything advanced on the computer, telling themselves they were too old, and I’ve seen people in their 80s learning word-processing software be able to write their memoirs!

The spirit of a beginner isn’t afraid to “fail” or make mistakes! That’s how we learn and improve!

Life isn’t about “graduating” or “arriving at the pinnacle”!

If you choose to stop where you are right now, you’ve simply reached a plateau!

There is always more road to walk! Take a breath and keep going!

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Tamara
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31 thoughts on “The progressively shifting line of understanding what is healthy and of growth

    1. Thank you, ma’am! That is one of my favorite lessons I keep reminding myself in life, for it helps not only to keep things fresh but gives me the emotional space to make mistakes!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Devang! I appreciate your kind words!

      There’s a time and a season for everything isn’t there?! Pacing ourselves is good too, when we have a long list! From what I’ve been reading on your blog, you’ve been tackling a few things! You will feel it when it is time to do something! 😄

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        1. Sometimes we need to gather first before we can sow. Experience, lessons and knowledge are the building blocks of writing. You will know when the time has come, you will feel it.

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  1. What you said about having the spirit of a beginner is so relatable. I have been trying really hard to approach things with that mindset and it’s actually had a very positive impact on my life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I get it! It’s one of the most helpful things we can do for ourselves! I used to try to be the expert when I wasn’t and it was so stressful. When I gave myself headspace to just be a beginner and learn at my own pace, life became much easier to handle and to enjoy! Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of that right?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely. I always found it difficult to learn something new because I always wanted to instantly be good at it. But allowing myself to understand that it’s okay to need help with some things or needing to learn new things slowly helped a lot.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, yes! I totally relate to this! I never wanted to appear to be unskilled or incapable, but I realized that it was intrinsically tied to how I spoke to myself! When I spoke harsher to myself, my expectations to be perfect were very high. When I learned to speak kindly to myself, I was able to give myself grace ad give myself the space to just flounder along as a beginner! It’s wonderfully freeing to give ourselves this space!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your one small change mindset. And of course your incredibly fun and courageous take that there is always more to learn. Speaking of which, I didn’t know you were learning Ukranian! That is wonderful. You are awesome and inspirational, Tamara!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Wynne! Yes, I’m actually repeating the beginner class, as arr a few others who had taken the summer course with me, as our teacher has so much to teach and we couldn’t possibly absorb it all in one class. Ukrainian is far more complex to learn than French, which is challenging for English speakers to understand the concept of masculine and feminine nouns. Ukrainian has those, and more, because there are no prepositions, so both verb and noun endings will denote meaning and context. I feel a little overwhelmed, but I see I have already learned some of the content we were being taught, and am building on that! Rather than feeling a failure because I couldn’t learn everything in the first class, I’m giving myself space to grow and learn incrementally. As long as I keep going, I will keep learning. If I need to repeat the beginning class again, I’m OK with that, because I keep getting better at it. I think that’s probably an analogy for life, and why we keep getting put through the same types of troubles in our lives. Does that ring true for you?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a great post!

    Loved this, “Unless we learn some new tools, the opportunities for lasting change to happen are slim, because eventually, the old ways tend to creep back in. It takes determination and focus to change our old ways of thinking.”

    Amen to that! Also, loved your talk of having the mindset of a beginner. Thank you for sharing this great post! 🤍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much my friend! I’m delighted that there were sentences that resonated within you! I’m so happy to have made that connection for truly, those are the things which help us to move forward with our growth! Without them we stagnate, don’t we? Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for yet another insightful post. I love your definition of healing in the captioned photo/quote. Kudos to you on joining a Beginner Ukrainian class! Over the years, I’ve also discovered that “[t]he more I learn, the more I realize there is to still learn!” Getting beyond my own subconscious biases continue to be a challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Rosaliene! I appreciate your supportive words! Relearning and retraining our brains to see ourselves and life differently is an important part of healing and being able to move forward to become a better version of ourselves. The work is never done, for as you say, the more we learn, the more we realize that there is to learn! Subconscious biases are a lifelong challenge, and those who keep pushing that line forward are going to expand their horizons in ways unimaginable by those who don’t, because they have no idea what could be. It is through doing that we learn isn’t it?! Thanks for your support in this journey I have started learning Ukrainian. I’m very heartened to see so many older people taking on the challenge. I had attended a French lecture where many English speakers attended, who were studying French and again, a very large number are older people, many having achieved excellent levels of proficiency. I find that so encouraging to see!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like that thought, the spirit of a beginner. Didn’t Jesus tell us we had to have the faith of a child? Mhmm. Also, though there isn’t a way to have reached enlightenment on this earth, I do believe that God reveals things to us along the way, if we are open to it, and can open our eyes to true joy at any age!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely yes! Different people use different words, but when we look at the essence of the thought, we see the parallels. We can experience joy at every stage, no matter where we are in life. It would be arrogant to say that only spiritually advanced people can experience true joy, for in truth joy is available to each of us. Enlightenment is a long, joyful journey. It is wrong to link riches and success with blessings from God for being pure of heart and enlightened, while people who are going through hard times are being corrected by God.

      Truly, open people can experience Enlightenment no matter what circumstances they may be in, and those going through the hardest difficulties can be truly blessed by God, for they are learning the very skills they will need for the next phase of their lives.

      When we are open, we can release those old tropes, and allow ourselves to experience what is intended for us.

      I have learned my deepest lessons from some of my darkest times. I remember writing in my first book how the lessons of our lives each brings us a flower. Some people go through life and gain a beautiful vase of flowers, while others gather an entire botanical garden!

      We are each the gardeners in our own lives, and openness is the growth medium!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Very wise words dear lady, if we close our hearts to anything, we are closing our hearts. And that is exactly what we will attract to ourselves. And yes, I still do it, till something slaps me in the face. I thought I was rolling along nicely…until I faced death…and everything changed, a whole new way of being stood before me…and much old that I thought was everything…fell away. Know everything? Never!. Keep an open heart? Always! Great post young lady, may that wisdom ever be on our path 😀❤️🙏🏽

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Mark! True words my friend! Yes, as long as we keep ourselves open to learning, we will be gifted with new experiences to learn from.

      I find sometimes I get impatient for the present events to fall away and for new experiences to slip into place, and when the cogs of the universe remain the same, I know I need to look for new ways to live the present situation, for there may be work yet unfinished that I haven’t yet seen needs doing. Only when that work is done will the cogs of the universe shift creating the new situation. Then it seems like a whole bunch of things had to line up, like the tumblers in a lock, allowing the next phase to happen.

      Religion likes to asign meanings of good vs. sin, as to why things will or won’t work out for an individual, but since we’re all so interconnected in this current web, I’ve been observing that often the universe waits until someone is ready to move forward before the whole group is able to. I know I’m going off topic, but it is connected to our willingness to be open and learn.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Right?! Moving forward can be quite challenging. The trick I have found that works for me when I get overwhelmed is to look for the 1 small thing I can do and focus on that. Interestingly the next small step comes into focus soon after. It’s easier to navigate small steps, it frees up bandwidth from worrying and being anxious!

          Liked by 1 person

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