Perhaps you’ve been there! You’ve tried and tried numerous ways to get a point across, to get someone you know and may even love, to pay attention to a problem, in order to make them aware of what they are doing that is bothering you…to get them to…ultimately…CHANGE!
But trying to change someone often leaves us feeling drained and more frustrated than we started. It depletes our energy resources and negatively affects our outlook on life. We become frustrated…and then, WE begin to change! We get increasingly irritated, we feel ignored and disrespected, and then we do things that are unbecoming of us, things that go against our own values and integrity. And in the end, we get dragged down and are held back from whatever potential or goal we were striving for in the first place!
Due to the strong desire I've always had to help people realize their greater potential, (and let's face it, essentially "fix" them so that we could get along better!), it took me a long time to learn and really accept that what you often see upfront is what you are going to get, and that no amount of pressuring and/or positive influencing is going to change a person unless and only unless, THEY want to willfully and intentionally change for THEMSELVES.
As frustrating as it can be, sometimes others hold onto their behavior patterns because it gives them something. It serves them somehow and they aren't going to give that up just because that something is not serving us. We'd like to think they we can arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement, but sometimes that's just not possible. Realizing that is a key component of self-awareness that when tuned into can give us the opportunity to change that dynamic by "zipping it" and taking our needs in a more appreciated direction. Sometimes even we ourselves get caught up in these dynamics and think it’s easier to hang on to what does not serve us. Maybe deep down we even enjoy the drama because that is what we’ve always known in some capacity…until it starts eating away at us from the inside. You can get comfortable in a dynamic of scarcity and limitation, even if that limitation is not yours and it is being imposed on you.
I'm here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way!
If you’ve done any level of work on yourself, it becomes much easier to understand how difficult changing is after being entrenched in toxic and unfulfilling patterns with the wrong people for most of our lives. The truth is, that sometimes, due to differences in our characters, in our upbringings, or our goals and values, we just don’t align with certain people and the path they are on. And that is OKAY. It’s really okay to just be okay with that! End of story! Moving on!
So why is this so hard for some of us to let go and move on?
Well, it can be complicated if you’ve been told that everyone should march to the beat of the same drum, or if there is social pressure and you are made to feel as tho you will let others down. Or your decision to disconnect and change course may result in painful consequences, like ostracism, or a loss in privileges you might have become accustomed to, or even reliant on. Life is not simple and straight forward. In the end we may desperately hang on to avoid the inevitable pain associated with loss because let's face it, loss can really hurt! Faced with the weight of that inevitable darkness, it’s common to forget about that little piece of light flickering at the end of the tunnel!
I used to suffer a lot, waiting on others to change. I would beat my head up against a wall and beg them to try, until I realized that they didn't want to, or for whatever reason just couldn't. I had to dump a lot of dead weight from my life to finally see that it was much more pleasant to let go of what did not align with my life than to hang on to what was working against it.
Was it easy? Certainly not! However, in time and with practice, I got clear about what I wanted and needed. I developed a thicker skin and stopped caring as much what people in general thought of me and I stopped looking for approval and validation from sources that for whatever reason had no capacity to do so. And as the icing on the cake, I stopped worrying about why that was and just accepted it. I started doing other things that aligned with this attitude too, like, I stopped being so hard on myself when I made mistakes. I stopped looking around to see what others were doing. I just stopped all of the distracting other-focus behaviors and began to focus on the things that I needed to do to create deeper meaning, fulfillment, joy and purpose in my life….period!
I haven't gotten this down completely yet, but I now do understand the value of NOT communicating and wasting my breath on those who just don’t care. And don’t get me wrong, I still think there is tremendous value in communicating your thoughts and feelings. Just be sure that those don’t fall on deaf, uninvested ears!
You are important. You matter. And you deserve a life aligned with who you are, how you think and feel…how you roll. So find people who can and want to be there for you, even if it's just one person. It will save you heaps of frustration and wasted time!
And lastly and most importantly, be sure to be gracious when you do find them, and pay it forward!
Love & Peace,