Have you ever wished you had a magic wand? You could wave that magically stick and people would change and at last your life would be happier, flow easier, and everything would be okay.
I grew up on fairy tales. Deep down I always knew magical wands are not real but I stubbornly clung to the idea if I just screamed loud enough, harped long enough, bitched long enough people would change and my life would suddenly be magical. Never happened! Not once did anyone change because of my wanting them to.
I realized this, for good, which means I accepted the reality of not being able to change anyone other than myself around my 43 birthday. I was throwing the biggest pity party anyone ever coordinated. It was a sight to behold but no one was there with me to see it, thank goodness. As I look back now I am glad I was all alone. I guess many miracles happen in our lives without any one to bear witness. I think we come to important realizations in life, those that truly help us change and grow, in solitude.
For me the miracle came in the form of finally surrendering to the truth I would never be able to change anyone but myself. Man I held on to that misguided and wrong notion for so many years. I grew up witnessing my parents try to change one another. Attempting to get other people to change seemed to be part of how we relate to one another in relationship. But that day I finally accepted after so many years of repeated trial and error that I was never going to get someone to change.
I came to this realization by candidly looking back at the changes I’d made in my life. I stopped smoking, breaking a 22 year old habit. I lost almost 63 pounds through hard work and changing how I eat. I stopped being codependent by learning to depend on myself and to look within for the validation I wanted to ensure my self-respect and self-worth. While other people cheered me on I was the one who had to take the actions necessary to change myself.
It is great to have other’s support us but in the end, the bottom line is we are the only person who can make changes to ourselves. That is the ‘aha’ that allowed me to accept changing other people was up to them also.
A wonderful thing happened to me and my world with this realization. As I took responsibility to identify and change things about myself I did not like the people around me were impacted in a very good way.
You cannot change anyone but yourself. When you let go of trying to get other people to change you can spend that same energy on identifying changes you want to make to you.
Make a list of all that is going right in your world. Then make a list of all that is not going right. Concentrate on changing one thing about yourself. Maybe that is to stop drinking sodas. Or stop smoking, reacting to rude people, or trying to change others. Remain dedicated to changing that one thing. When you have created a new habit by changing one thing about yourself move on to the next items on your list. Once you change one thing about you the excitement will grow about making further positive changes.
Focus completely on you and what you can change about yourself. Not with the expectation other people will change as a result of the changes you make to yourself. Just concentrate on how you can make yourself a better person.
When you meet resistance from those people in your world who do not want you to change, stay strong knowing that all positive changes result in positive coming back to you. No, at first people may fall away. Those closest too you may not like the new you. They may scream and yell and protest. Remember you are not changing for anyone other than yourself. Remember you are choosing to love and respect yourself enough to take the actions necessary to create the life you truly want.
I guarantee when you care enough about yourself to make positive changes to yourself then new people will come into your life who will support your growth. You changing yourself for the better will change your world for the better too.