How often have we seen someone doing something that is obviously harming them and think that they need to change but we just dismiss it as if “we know” that they never will be able to. They have been that way for so long they will never change.
Really? Are you sure they are the only problem in this equasion? What about your inability to invest any energy in the possibility for them to change?
Change is not easy, for any of us and in order to change we need to set the stage so we can be successful and one of the first things we need to do is to get away from all those that “love us” because often that very love is a big part of the problem because whether they know it or not, it is conditional.. They love ‘us” in the way that they know us and are often not able to love us if we are different.
This was something I had always known and it became even more amplified for me when I adopted a special needs dog. She was born with a brain condition that left her deaf and very sensitive and compulsive which was playing out in negative ways.
When I took her on she was extremely fear aggressive, chronic spinning and barking and was believed she could never be out of a crate for any period of time.
Six months later: she no longer lives in a crate, no longer spins insanely in one spot as she used to, only barks when she is playing and her fear aggression is down from a 12 out of 10 to a 3. Does she still have the ability to digress? Absolutely, I have seen her do it, but I also noticed that when she did it she was either stressed because she was integrating a new situation of someone was handling her who knew her from before and were still fearful of her, or perhaps, for her. Either way, their fear and in-ability to let her be who she is now, even though they have seen the change in her, triggered her insecurities, which she will probably always have, or she regressed to being aggressive.
So, when I look at this whole situation and I consider with what we go through as people, I realize how often in life we ask people to change and then by our own unwillingness to believe in them and the fact they can, we don’t allow them to.
As if they don’t have enough obstacles to overcome in their own process they also have to drag along with them all the “doubters” and “nay sayers” who throw their former failures in their face, reminding them, “this is who you are to me,” and though you may be changing, I am not willing to let you change by believing in you.
“I own you” and who you were so you can’t change and reclaim your life. You owe me and what I went through with you when you were” like that.” You hurt me and you owe me! Or, you inconvenienced me and you owe me! Why should you get to change and be free of that when I still live with it.
No, I won’t believe that you can change because that will let you off the hook for all of the things you have done and you need to pay for them, at some level, so you need to stay the way you were.
I have been there for you all the times you needed me and you owe me. You don’t get to change and leave me behind!
Is this what we are going through at an unconscious level?
I know there is the belief that people don’t let me people changes because it means we have to change too, and I definitely agree with that.
But what I witnessed with this little dog has a touch of “my will’ against yours. Who you want to be versus who I say you can be.
So, I guess the point to this is when you casually ask someone to change; quit smoking, lose weight, go to school become more, you need to remember you have a part in that.
Especially, if you are a family member or a loved one.
If they change there is no way that you or your life is going to stay the same.
And if you insist that they do stay the same you are either denying the other person their chance to change or you are creating scenario where they will have to be free of you so they can change.
So when you ask them to change also ask yourself:
ARE YOU READY TO CHANGE?
People cannot change inside a goldfish bowl. Their change will send out a ripple effect and if you are close to them you will be affected by it. And for the most part, it will mainly require you being willing to see them in a new light. Let go of the person you knew. But sometimes that is not so easy to do.