Can A Leopard Change Its Spots?
If your answer is no, then you might as well delete yourself from this page! However, if you are still reading this blog and you've called my bluff, then that makes me happy, because I want you to read this. Honestly, if you think about our behaviour through our lives we change all the time, let's take a look at a couple of examples.
If you are depressed, do you act the same or differently to when you are happy? Additionally, if you are depressed, can you get over it? If a friend of yours wronged you when you were children, can you forgive them now? If a criminal serves time in jail for committing a crime and he/she finds god, can they turn their life around and help others?
You will inevitably treat people differently when you have different thought processes. If you are sad, depressed, unhappy, suffering from physical or emotional pain are you really going to treat a loved one the same as you would if you just won the lottery, after booking a holiday or if you simply do not have a care in the world? Arguably most of these situations are acute. However, depression can be present for years.
What is interesting is that we, as individuals, will change weekly, even daily. Just witnessing something can change the course of your life and you can never be the same person who you once were. The best thing you can do is to identify who you are and try your best to become a better person than you were before.
I can guarantee I have changed over the years (many people in this group knew me as I once was). Around a decade ago I was in a bad place, but I did not want professional help as I thought I could deal with it myself; I didn't sleep, I drank too much, pushed people away (mostly civilian friends who really didn't understand me), I sabotaged friendships, relationships and I self-harmed (I was fighting with groups of people who I did not know, as I wanted to get beaten up).
I was diagnosed with severe anxiety, even though I hid most of my feelings because I felt that a diagnosis of any kind would impact on my military carrier. I did have an old friend who has a PhD in Psychology, whom unofficially diagnosed me with PTSD. Although, I also pushed her away too as I felt vulnerable (it took years for me to speak to a Doctor and officially get a diagnosis of Anxiety, Depression and PTSD). If it was not from this chapter in my life and the build-up to it, I would not be who I am today. That is a fact. I had to face my fears to understand them. This took me onto the path of where I am today and as bad as it was, I pulled myself together. I once hated everyone and I had been self-destructing for some time. But I changed, some people cringe or roll their eyes when they hear my name or see me in the street, but I am not the animal I once was.
I will always own my actions and behaviours, I am accountable for every one of my actions, but I have 'changed my spots'. I dedicated my life to helping whoever I can. I was able to turn my life around and 'grew up' and 'wised-up'. I have lived a hard life, but I don't wear my failures or troubles as a rack of medals. But I do refer to them when I am dealing with people who I can see are reacting similarly to how I did. A question for you; do you forgive people after a while or do you hold a grudge? If you hold a grudge it will eat you up internally, a grudge is only one way. The perpetrator in your story probably does not know or care that you have a problem with them. Well, unless you set out for revenge, then it's no longer a grudge, but more an attack on an unsuspecting victim and now you're the perpetrator in another person's story.