True Character

The reflection of a woman standing in an elevator.

This week has been a doozy over here. After years of hot and cold, I finally made the tough decision to remove someone from my life, permanently. I’ve been holding space for this person, waiting and hoping they’d eventually evolve, but as it turns out, some people will always just be who they are. Their true character doesn’t change.

But what is true character exactly? Simply put, I think it can be summed up as who we are when nobody’s watching. Our true character is revealed through our actions, choices, and interactions when it’s just us. So then, this makes me wonder why do some people have “good character” and others, well, don’t? I suppose maybe that’s because the development of “good character” is influenced by so many things, such as our upbringing, personal values, and our individual life experiences. But ultimately, I feel like our character development is completely up to us and how we want to be, don’t you think?

Now, I understand that the values instilled in us during childhood lay the foundation for our moral compass. Our parents provide guidance as to what’s right and wrong, and as we internalize these lessons, they become an integral part of who we are – our character. However, while our upbringing can heavily influence our initial character formation, I don’t believe it solely determines our destiny. We possess the capacity to reflect upon and challenge the values we’ve inherited, allowing us to define our own path and build our own good character, if we so choose.

And that brings up another great point, our character isn’t something that’s static; it evolves and adapts through the course of our lives (if we want it to). Life experiences, both positive and negative, serve as catalysts for personal growth and character development. Facing adversity, overcoming obstacles, and learning from our mistakes shapes our resilience, empathy, and wisdom day by day, year by year. Each and every experience offers an opportunity for self-reflection, allowing us to refine our character further. By embracing the lessons we experience throughout life, I believe we can develop a stronger, more compassionate, and resilient true character if we really want to.

While external factors undoubtedly influence our character, the ultimate power lies within each of us. We possess the autonomy to choose the type of person we want to be or to become. Our character isn’t predetermined or limited by our past. We can consciously decide to continually work on self-improvement. We can choose to act with integrity, kindness, and empathy, even when especially when no one is watching and cultivate a true character that resonates with our values.

Our true character encompasses the essence of who we are when the spotlight is off. It’s a reflection of our actions, choices, and interactions when no one else is watching. While upbringing, personal values, and life experiences can shape our character, we all have the power to change anytime we want to. So, let us embrace this power of change and strive to cultivate a true character that inspires us and those around us. After all, true character isn’t something we always naturally possess; it’s something we become, if we choose to.

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2 Comments

  1. Christine Zeiler says:

    I can identify with what you wrote here. Sometimes my first impression of someone turns out to be wrong. I like your words, “I’ve been holding space for this person….” Sometimes we find they turn out to be like black holes: they suck the life out of you.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. Our first impressions of people can be wrong, and holding space for someone can be valuable. However, like you said, it’s important to recognize when someone drains our energy and when it’s time to move on. It takes me a while to get to get there sometimes.