This month we celebrate our freedom to choose. An important facet of this gift is that it opens the door for us to choose to change. I am grateful that I am not the same person I was as a child, as an all-knowing teenager, or a brand-new wife and mother. In each case, this metamorphosis happened gradually, imperceptibly, one choice and one step at a time. But the change happened and continues.
I saw a post on Facebook recently about patterns for rewiring our brains as we choose to change:
Your brain will constantly rewire itself to suit the information that you feed into it.
If you constantly complain, gossip, find excuses, etc., it will make it easier to find things to be upset about, regardless of what is happening around you.
Likewise, if you constantly search for opportunities, abundance, love, and things to be grateful for, it will make it much easier to find a reflection of those things around you.
It takes practice, but over time, this is an immensely powerful way to shape reality.
These words resonated with me, and my friend Google helped me track down the author, Tamara Kulish. You can find more from her here. She shares the science that supports this theory.
I love the idea of small steps leading to gradual and lasting change. A statement often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson motivates me to keep choosing to change. It prescribes persistence as a powerful tool for change and increased self-confidence: “That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do – not that the nature of the thing is changed, but that our power to do is increased.” A man I greatly admire, Heber J. Grant, applied this adage to everything from baseball to penmanship.
I have learned some truths for myself in my journey of change. In addition to changes in my brain that facilitated changes in my behavior, I literally felt my desires and impulses change in a process I can only describe as a rewiring of my heart.
These are the steps in this remarkable transformation:
- It starts with sincere desire.
- It requires effort — the search outlined by Kulish.
- Consistent effort and heavenly help rewire not just our brains, but our hearts.
For me, the most powerful evidence of a change of heart lies not so much in what I DO, but what I am BECOMING. It is easy to be discouraged and critical of our own efforts to change, but our progress is often manifested by our thoughts, desires, and natural responses. I recognize this when I easily give someone else the benefit of the doubt, or genuinely feel grateful that I can help someone with a problem or task, or my first impulse is to assume that someone is acting with nobility of intent and is my fellow sojourner on our path to change.
I find great happiness at being surprised that someone’s life has turned out much better than I would have thought, or that a friend has accomplished much and inspired others. Amazingly, sometimes I am quite certain that these surprising things are happening to me as I choose to change. This happiness springs from a change of heart.
I invite you to act on your desire to change and experience the subtle yet unmistakable gift of a rewired heart.