One of my teachers does things a lot differently than I do, and because of this, we clash. It would be so much easier for me if she would only change!
I want my teacher to change. I also want the attitude and policies of certain institutions to change. You may want similar people or institutions to change – or your partner, your child, others in your life who, because they are opposed, one way or another, to what you want or believe in, justified or not.
I want to change the world, or at least my little corner of the world. In my eyes, for the better. But to do that, I need the cooperation of others – of my teacher, or those who run the institutions I interact with.
I don’t want to compromise my beliefs to get what I want; or bend others to my will with partial truths and manipulation. I want them to be open to working with me, so that I can move ahead feeling good about myself, and about them.
The truth is that I can accomplish this – change the world – only by changing myself.
When you think about it, it’s the only thing that I – or you – can change: Ourselves.
Not by changing our core beliefs or compromising ourselves, but by changing our approach, and our attitude toward others.
For instance, I was challenged by this teacher to find a way of really understanding an issue I’ve had for a very long time, and then use that understanding to effect positive change in myself. I’ve been “working on” myself for many years, and really didn’t think this task was going to give me anything I didn’t already know. But I agreed to do it, because I really wanted to remove that issue.
For the next 2 months, I used all the tool and techniques at my disposal. I consulted others when I felt the need. I used whatever came into my awareness and experience during these 2 months to help me change. That included whatever I read and watched: if I was triggered by a character or situation, I would ask myself how that person or event reminded me of myself, and then open myself to the truth of what I had the courage to see.
It wasn’t easy, or pleasant at times. At times, it was painful and humbling. But in the end, I discovered what it was that I had an issue with, how I used that issue to keep me from growing. I also learned how I could alter that behavior by changing my approach to it, and my attitude to myself and others.
You too can change the world, by first changing yourself.
Smart failure for a fast-changing world
Quote of the Week
“We can change society, change humanity by changing ourselves as individuals. By cultivating inner values, we can change our own lives and those of our families. This is how we can create a more peaceful world.”
― Dalai Lama
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Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .