One evening while having dinner at the Malibu home of TV producer Suzanne de Passe, I began complaining about something I had agreed to do but that I no longer thought was the best decision for me. In the name of "keeping my word," though, I felt I had to trudge through it. Suzanne looked at me and said something that honestly no one had ever told me: "Girl, you know you have the right to change your mind."
I went silent. As the words reverberated through me, I slowly said the phrase to myself over and over, trying to embrace what it would feel like to actually accept that principle as part of my conscious living. While the idea sunk in, I repeated it aloud to Suzanne: "I have the right to change my mind." She said, "Who else would? Itís your mind."
Before then, I hadnít thought of changing my mind as even possible. What about honor, commitment, staying the course? I had always believed that going back on a promise was something only careless, flaky people did. Yet as strict as I had always been about keeping my word, I often gave it irresponsibly. Trying to be the nice girl, I agreed to do things I later regretted. And because I was saying yes when I really meant no, Iíd end up cheating both myself and the other person involved. Itís an irrefutable law of the universe: You always get exactly what you intend -- and my intention was to be seen by others as the dependable one, even if that came at a high expense to me personally.
What I know for sure is that you have the right to choose what is best for yourself now -- not four years ago or even yesterday. And changing your mind does not mean acting irresponsibly; itís just the opposite. When you honor what you know your spirit is telling you to do, you are making the most conscientious decision, one for which you are willing to accept all the consequences. You understand that when you know better, you ought to do better -- and doing better sometimes means changing your mind; and you realize that letting go of what others think you should do is the only way to reach your full potential.
-- Oprah Winfrey