When I was young, I used to think that I had the power to compel people to change. I thought that if I loved hard enough, believed enough and prayed my guts out I’d have the ability to make change happen. In addition, my immaturity had me believing that change was easily rendered. I gave so little concrete regard to change in its true context, treating it as little more than a word, a wish, a prayer – change for myself and change in others.
I’ve grown though and always, isn’t life the best teacher? Similarly, through intense study and discussion (with my amazing women’s group), I’ve come to appreciate the true essence of change. I’ve gained insight into the fact that change and the power to do so resides only in the individual. No amount of wishing, hoping, “gently” manipulating or controlling will bring about change in another.
These days I find that I’m reminding myself often that the only one I have the power to change or to control is me. Expecting anything more than that is futile – wasted energy, wasted time. When it comes to dealing with the expectations of new outcomes, I look right in the mirror. And in dealing with people in my life that I have a difficult time with, that’s were I begin. That’s where I go – inside myself, with keen awareness that although I can’t change situations or the behaviors of others, I do have that control in how I react.
Transformation is impossible when applied to things which are out of my control, but when I apply it to me, transformation, change, is limitless. Sounds simple, but from a gal who has been known to be a bit of a control freak for the better part of her life, it’s not, hardly. But in identifying and understanding my lack of control regarding others I have found such peace. Likewise I’m finding that the change I was so hoping for tends to happen by osmosis – either I see things more clearly, or in a different way, or I remove myself from the situation or the individual I’m at odds with. And too I tend to give things to God and let him pick up where I leave off in frustration.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Ghandi’s quote dances ‘round my mind often. It’s not an easy practice, but with practice I’ve experienced an enormous sense of liberation - liberation from worrying about things and people I can’t fix – liberation from worrying about things and people that aren’t my business to fix. These days I’m minding my own business. Being the best that I can be and just letting go. I’d like to think I’ve become a better person for it – a better wife, mother, sister, and friend. I love, I pray, I let go and I let God. And you know what? In the end things work out exactly the way they were meant to be without any help from me.
Change is good, change is real.
Change happens when we're willing to do the work.
On ourselves, that is.
striving to do better, everyday...