Sunday, December 5, 2010

no. you cannot change "them"

I don't give much credence to astrological forecasts. You know...those "daily" thingies you get on your homepage or the little blurb in the newspapers. Mostly I think they're kinda hokey. Just too generic to mean anything. But then, what do I know? I mean, it's not like I've ever studied such things.

On the other hand, I did have my chart done once. I had this friend who was really into it. Apparently, she was very curious about "why" I was the way I was. I thought it was pretty funny; that she was so adamant about the "why" part. So I gave her the data she needed and waited for her findings. A week later, she phoned, all excited, and asked me to come over for a glass of wine. Off I went to see what the stars had to say.

Turns out that little chart was quite the eye-opener. There were all kinds of things that led me to a better understanding of my personality traits and some of the more obvious leanings I had when dealing with the world. It was kinda cool. Still, I didn't go any further with it. I didn't buy books or do any research (as is my usual M.O.) because...well, frankly, I didn't really give a rip. I had that attitude of "I am who I am." and didn't give it much thought thereafter.

I won't say that I haven't been curious though. I think it's pretty wild that all kinds of "heads of state", etc., hire professional astrologers to tell them what's cookin'. I've always found that surprising. That, in itself, was what got me more curious. But, again, didn't do much about it.

But then something happened that made me remember my curiosity. It was a little spat I had with a friend. She got all upset with me because I'd actually taken action on a suggestion that she made. Turns out, she wasn't really wanting me to do what I did. And she got all pissed at me even though it had been her idea. I realized this as I listened to what she wasn't saying. She was pretty twisted and I could feel it. Even over the phone. I asked her what was wrong. She made all kinds of excuses but wouldn't tell me how she was really feeling. Finally I realized that there wasn't anything I could say or do to make her come clean. I knew what she was pissed about, but I also knew she wasn't going to cop to it. She was in one of her nasty moods where she wanted to be pissed; she wanted to fight and blame and not take responsibility. She simply wanted to feel the anger. And it wasn't really me at all. I knew all this instinctively; and after trying for a few long minutes, I finally told her that I saw no point in continuing the conversation. I told her that I could feel her anger and that I was pretty certain that she wasn't telling me the truth. I also told her that it was her choice to be pissed and stay that way if she wanted. And then I told her I loved her and hung up the phone.

A while later, after giving it much thought, I realized that there was really nothing I could do about how she felt. I realized that, in a much larger way, she really does look for things to be angry about. She wants to feel like crap so she can have a reason to get on-your-lips drunk. She has no desire to live the joy that she has only experienced in small doses throughout her life. It's her M.O. It's what makes her world go round.

Sad. But oh-so-true. I've known her for a very long time and it's been a pattern for as long as I've known her. We'll be sailing along, each of us making progress in our own growth cycles, and then...WHAMMO! She comes up with something to justify getting all nasty with me. Last time it happened was a few years back and I simply refused to dance. I told her it was her choice to make; I made mine and stopped calling. I just let her be and didn't make any attempts to patch things up, as it were. This made her furious. But, in the end, she came 'round and made all kinds of apologies for her behaviour. I am a person who believes wholeheartedly in forgiveness. So we "kissed and made up" and off we went onto the next chapter of our friendship.

Now, if it sounds like I'm trying to be the hero here, please know I am not. I have no desire to be the one in the "right". I don't really give a rip about who's right and who's wrong. What matters most to me is that we learn and grow and get better at being Who We Really Are. All the rest is just a bunch of hooey. We can go 'round blaming everybody and their grandmother for all the crap in our lives. OR we can step back and have a look in the mirror. Because the person staring back is the person responsible for all of it. Every single bit of the angst and anger and anything else that feels "less than" is created by "me". And the sooner we all get that part, the sooner we'll stop feeling that ickiness. I know. I've had my many epiphanies. And the one thing I know for sure is this:

I cannot change ANYONE. I cannot convince, cajole, brainwash, urge, shove, or man-handle anyone into a belief. The reason I know this is no one has ever been able to do it to me. There isn't a soul on the planet who can change my mind about anything I don't want to change. So...the point?

The only person I can change is ME. Sure, there are people who can inspire me to look at myself with different eyes and lend me a new perspective. But in the end, they can't make the changes. It must come from me. Knowing this makes moments like the one with my friend make a whole lot more sense (and it saves me from going cuckoo over something I have no control over). It takes the pressure off me to change her (or anyone else who happens to float into my world). I cannot. Nor do I have any desire. She must walk her path and live the life she's chosen, even if it's filled with stuff I consider icky. I am not her. She is not me. No one lives in my skin (and vice versa). Any attempt to change someone else will always result in the same outcome:

Utter failure.

So quit trying. Quit wasting your time and energy on changing anyone else. Use that same time/energy to work on YOU. In my experience, that is what will bring the most joy to YOUR world. But then...who the hell am I to tell YOU?

2 comments:

Merry ME said...

It's such an easy concept to grasp - why so hard to put into practice?

Qn Dani said...

Woo Hoo!! Can we get a witness??!!I'm right there with ya sister!! I "ditto that" to every word you wrote!!

:-)