You have the power to make great changes in your life, starting with your attitude. If you have relationships that need improving, that are worth keeping, you first have to realize you have no control over the other person. You can nag, cajole, argue, stand on your head, all to no avail. The ONLY person you can change is yourself. It may be as simple as changing your perception of the other person, becoming more compassionate, trying to understand their point of view, etc. If you consistently tell yourself that it is the other person who is wrong, it is the other person who needs to change, you will end up disappointed and stuck in an unhappy relationship. Try experimenting. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Change your attitude about the other person, change your behavior toward them. Watch what happens! You may feel like a miracle has occurred, but it was you who manifested it. It will be you who is responsible for making your life (certainly your relationship) better, happier, more fulfilling.
You are writing the script to your life. Yes, stuff happens, but you have the power to decide how you will respond to it. And that makes all the difference. Two small examples from my own life. My horse Barbie went lame at the beginning of April, this year. She is still lame. I have not been able to work with her for over three months now. The Vet was out to see her yesterday and although he is pleased with her progress, he wants to give her two more months before we start working together again. We are now at the point where I can ride her at the walk, but we cannot practice our tests in order to get ready for any shows. (We are smack in the middle of show season now. My original plan was to be in four shows this season. Last year I was in two, my very first two.) At this point I will be lucky to participate in one show.
I could be very upset, depressed, angry, all of the above, at the misfortune I am experiencing at the barn, due to a lame horse. To what end? It wouldn’t be good for me, or anyone around me, to carry that ugly black cloud around with me all day, every day. So, I opted for passing through this experience, taking advantage of some down time with my horse, (I still have to hand walk her if not ride her, i.e., spend time with her) and having extra time away from the barn to work on other things (like writing my second book!).
Example number two. My washing machine broke down a week and a half ago as I was starting to do the prior week’s laundry. It is just me and my husband but we generate three loads per week. We had a repairman out who said it was the mother board. He could fix it for something like $370 or we could order the part online for about $60 and install it ourselves. We chose Option B, which meant waiting until the part arrived. By the time it got here and my husband installed it (Yay!), I had two and a half weeks of laundry stacked up. Very, very small problem, but frustrating nevertheless. I am sure you know people who would have been very upset over it. I almost was. I decided to pretend everything was fine. Life went on. I used just about every pair of underwear in my drawer, but finally we were back in business and all was once again normal in the Tauber residence. (and clean!)
As I said, these two examples of current events in my life are small potatoes to what other people endure. Tragedies and very serious illnesses happen every day to people. People you know, people you love, even yourselves. What do you do? You deal with the things you can control, release the things you cannot and pray. Change what you can, let go of the rest.
The Serenity Prayer is very powerful and speaks directly to what I am saying here.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
You cannot change other people. You can only change yourself. Make the positive changes in yourself and see what miracles occur all around you, making your world a better place and your relationships happier. You have the power. Use it!