In this life that we’re living, the only constant is change. And yet change seems to be the one factor many people are resistant towards. Whether it’s in our personal lives, work or just in general, change occurs all the time. And we resist (all the time). The one change however that does not take place without our permission is for us to change. I’ve heard many people claim “this is how I’ve always been, I can’t change” or “You know this is my personality so I can’t change it.” And for someone who is learning to appreciate and be grateful that I can change (every day), I must say, the above feels more like excuses than reasons to me.
Maybe, we should take a step back to clarify the above. And let’s ask ourselves, what does real change mean? Real change in my view means adapting or evolving for the better with what life throws at us. It means taking responsibility and ownership for where we find ourselves now and instead of digging a deeper hole (by making decisions that will only amplify our current state of affairs), let’s reflect and ensure we make decisions to avoid potential further regrets. Let’s not make decisions that will only exasperate our negative feelings and perpetuate our blame towards ourselves or others. The essence in the types of people or the feelings in the environments will not change without us changing our own thoughts, emotions or without us understanding our impact in our own lives, on others and in our environments. We will ALWAYS find ourselves in the same or similar situations until we learn to change from within. We will always find ourselves surrounded by similar people or in similar situations, no matter where we work, live or even shop, until we learn to change (from within).
It’s important to understand that no amount of nagging or yelling or fighting will change someone if they, themselves, do not truly understand their own impact or if they do not believe in the reasoning. They may say, “Yes! I can change!” but if they do not believe that the change is also for their own betterment it will not be long-lasting. We can never change other people – we can only influence or support but only they can make the decision to change themselves.
What has taken me the longest to accept is that not everyone wants to change for the better. They have what seems to them like valid reasons to stay in their current situations, hating themselves, their lives and blaming those around them but what they fail to understand is that real change comes from within. Your environment and other individuals will never change unless you change. You can change your reactions or your perspectives and because the universe is amazing, somehow when you change from within everything around you changes for the better. Everything flows and what you were worried about or angry about or resentful about falls away. You cannot change your past. No amount of judgment, regret or anger will change the past. But you can reflect on your present, and change now to have the ending you want.
We are constantly providing advice (wanted or unwanted) to others; judging others and ourselves or even trying to force others to change and yet we forget that this is not what works. Looking inward, healing ourselves, forgiving ourselves, reflecting on how we want to be and can be is what brings about change. First inward. First yourself. Then everything else. This is how real change occurs.