It's a new year, so let's talk "change".
One of my husband's favorite sayings is, "Don't be sorry, change!". This annoys me to no end because every time apologize, I am met with this. It annoys me that he's right, the best apology is a changed behavior. Words with no action are merely wasted breaths in hopes of pacifying someone. You have to show someone by your actions over time and circumstance that you mean business and that you "heard" them. Ugh. There's no quick fix when you have hurt someone (such as a simple "sorry"). But really, sometimes I just want to say that I am sorry, because I am, and move on. I am not perfect. And I wish I could just let it go at that, but no. My personality is that I tend to take everything to heart and proceed to circle the drain when it comes to replaying my role in any negative situation. If you are in a negative situation, understand that you are a part of it. The truth about me is that I am always wanting to change, I am always wanting to grow, and I am forever wanting to never repeat my mistakes. I am smart and I want to live smartly learning from every situation I'm in. I truly feel bad if I hurt someone or do wrong, I don't take pleasure in hurting others, and so I can't stomach doing the same thing over and over again if I know it is upsetting someone I value. So this little saying of my husband, blows up my world more than he knows. It keeps me on my toes, and pushes me to be better, or at least that is my hope.
We put a lot of pressure on each other and on ourselves to change. We are unhappy in our marriages, our workplaces, our families, our friendships, and with ourselves because we want something (or many things) to be different. We hang our hats on the possibility of change; our hope rests here. And when others fail us, or we fail ourselves, and there is no change, we make some pretty drastic and life altering decisions to quench our thirst for transformation and growth. Wanting change and being content cannot co-exist, but that is where we often find ourselves isn't it? That struggle of loving and hating ourselves all at the same time. It's enough to make us mad. Saying you love your spouse and yet seeking out that which they lack and that which you wish they would "be" from others (a friend, a good listener, an empath, an encourager, a cheerleader, a confident, etc.) . I want to caution you that while we all wish for parts of people and our lives to evolve and be different, we are setting ourselves up for a giant fall because our control is very limited. We better have something more substantial, such as morals, to be steadfast in while we wait on the change we so desire. Just because we want something to change, and we want it to change now, doesn't mean it will happen in our perfect timing. Wanting something doesn't make it so.
There's nothing wrong with wanting things to be better, that's a natural and normal part of life and something that drives us. Relationships evolve, as they should, we get older and wiser and our abilities widen. We are not meant to stay stuck emotionally, physically, mentally or spiritually. As we grow up our ability to grow grows exponentially. What is life if we are not wanting to better ourselves and our relationships? Nobody is perfect to the point that there is no room for growth and betterment. I think marriages really get stuck here. How many times have you heard, "well you knew who I was when you married me."? That mindset is a stuck mindset, a childish mindset and a very un-useful mindset to have in a marriage. The reality is that over time and circumstance the things we see, experience and go through as a couple should help shape us to one another in our relationships. This is a huge reason old married couples end up looking like one another. I believe that in marriages there's a lot of bettering yourself (insert change here) in order to better your marriage and compliment your spouse. When you have a partner hell bent on loving themselves and wanting others to love them just as they are, they are not mature enough to be in such a selfless covenant such as marriage, in my opinion.
How does one achieve "change"? With practice, repetition and discipline we can change behaviors and habits over time. When it comes to feelings, we can change those too; feelings follow actions (so if you want to soften yourself towards someone, for instance, do kind things for them). But, often, merely changing behaviors and feelings isn't enough for real fulfillment. How then, do we achieve a deeper level of change; a change of heart, a changed mindset, and a changed attitude!? It takes faith.
You can’t change who you are and you most certainly can’t change who someone else is. Your creator made you and those who surround you, so if you want change it would make sense you need to go to the source.
It never made sense to me that people actually think they process such power. Failure, dissatisfaction, disappointment, and frustration surrounds them more often than not when they put the task of change on their own shoulders; that’s not how we were created to operate. God didn’t make us to do life alone, no he did not. He created us to depend solely on him. When you feel at the end of your rope with yourself, with your marriage, with your family, with any situation in you find yourself in and things seem hopeless, know that they are not. Don’t fall into that pit of despair, being all dark and depressed. Do something about it; pray. Invite God into any relationship or situation you are in and surrender your desires to His will. Praying and seeking God in everything is the key to the change you NEED.
Focus on yourself and what you can do, that's where you need to start. Your relationship with God, your refinement and your daily walk in faith. Often your change and your life will serve as a catalyst for others to realize the opportunity for change in their own lives.
So my friends, don't fear change and don't run from it. Embrace it and use it to better your life all around. Be around like-minded individuals who push you to be the best version of yourself that you can be and who share your values and beliefs. Choose to change for the greater good of your marriage, your family, your co-workers, your friendships, and yourself. Don't be satisfied being stuck.
Love and Peace,