If you take hold of a pendulum and pull it a certain distance from center point then release it, the rebound swing in the opposite direction matches the distance you held it from center point.
When we've felt restricted (allowed it) and "free" ourselves from that scenario, we may experience what I call the pendulum swing. This means when we release ourselves from a mode of behavior, we may not return to center balance, but pop over to the other extreme in some measure. We usually operate in extremes if our point of center, our inner compass, doesn't have a strong foundation.
I observed this swing in a young woman I'm acquainted with when she posted a message that was so different from her usual posts, I couldn't help note what seemed like an instant personality change. We've been virtual acquaintances for five-plus years; so seeing her spontaneously alter her personality was a surprise and I communicated this to her. Shortly after this exchange, she posted another message stating how she was now "free" and planned on...well, she listed what she planned on doing and behaviors she intended to exhibit, all in proclamation that she'd restricted her self-expression for too long.
It's possible this "new" path is her true nature, but I couldn't help note her words mimicked another individual's on the site. I'm aware they've been friends for years and her new postings had all the earmarks of his influence. His nature is to operate in extremes, whereas she's never indicated similar behaviors. This is what gave me pause.
Without mentioning the other person, I described the pendulum swing that often follows a major life change, which she'd recently experienced. I added that as long as she had head and heart alignment about this new path of freedom (that these were truly her ideas) then I wished her well. A reminder was included that if we enter a playground that isn't one we really want to play in or belong in, we end up having to heal our heart, mind, spirit, and sometimes body. She responded she realized she was rushing things and hadn't been aware of the pendulum possibility but could see the sense of it. That she could be so readily influenced by the other person indicates she hasn't defined who she is and how she chooses to re-create her "new" self and life.
At all times, we have to do what is appropriate for us, not what is appropriate for others. If we find ourselves in a drastic-change situation or considering one, it's okay and advisable to give thought to who we wish to become and how we want to live. So many don't live as their authentic selves because they haven't taken the time needed to consider what being authentic means to them. Jumping into the opposite behavior is one way to discover who you are, but it's seldom the easiest or most productive way to do this. In fact, it's often more destructive than not.
If you're ready to discover and live as your authentic self, fall in love with the process so you can genuinely fall in love with who you are. Just as you get to know another, which takes time, get to know yourself. Let your inner compass point you in the direction that's appropriate for you. No one else knows what your path should be. Just you.
About Joyce Shafer
Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She's author of "Don't Want to be Your Guru" and other books/ebooks, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles and free downloads. See all that's offered by Joyce and on her site at http://stateofappreciation.weebly.com
For web users who would prefer to subscribe to the web feed, click the "Feed" button below.