Blog #10 – The Decision To Change Yourself

Change is hard. There are so very many ways to even think about change.  According to Richard Restak, MD in his book: The BRAIN,  “The brain is the only organ in the known universe that seeks to understand itself.”   We humans are creatures of habit.  We do the same things over and over again.  This is because, as Caroline Myss, Ph.D. explains in her New York Times bestselling book, Anatomy of the Spirit, “Our psychological characteristics are a combination of what we know and what we believe to be true, a unique combination of the facts, fears, personal experiences, and memories that are active continually within our mental energy body.”  She goes on to explain that when one achieves the bare bones truths of different situations and circumstances, that’s when one achieves wisdom.  This, she feels, can only be arrived at by detachment.

Detachment is a state whereby one sees things without the influence of emotions.  And like some people, I’m an emotional person.  There is no way I can look (or think) about most situations without any emotion – good or bad!  To evaluate or consider a situation or person with detachment (and that includes thinking of yourself), one must turn to another person.  The best person would be a professional (like a psychologist or social worker—someone trained in counseling).  However, a professional is not always available to us.  A longtime friend or relative may not be a good person to consult either, because they may also have emotional feelings about situations in your life.  However, sometimes they can give you another point of view to consider.

The best non-professional person to talk with about what kind of person you seem to be, help you to evaluate your reactions to a particular situation(s), and/or if any major change is needed at all is a relatively new friend:  a co-worker, a fellow church member, or a neighbor are good examples.

The very first thing that needs to be decided in your discussions is who or what needs changing.  For example, you may be a perfectly “all right” person who has a job that brings out your negative side (everyone has a bad side).  Instead of trying to change yourself to adapt to constant negatives, the answer may be to change jobs!  You may hang out with people who don’t have the same interests you do.  In that case, it would be a better idea to find some new friends.  You may be newly divorced or broken up with a significant other and no longer have that dual identity.  Finding out who you are as an individual will be very helpful in determining how you want to change your life.  Or you could be one of those people who have been under the influence of others, and never had much opportunity to know yourself—usually going along with the ideas of others.  However, if you do need to make changes in yourself, you could find it extremely difficult to do.  Sometimes it makes things easier to make changes in yourself to benefit others—for example:  decreasing or eliminating the use of drugs or alcohol to improve the relationships with those you love.  People often find it easier to believe they are doing something to benefit someone else.  Somehow it seems less selfish that way!  Yet it can give more power to your decision to change your life.

There are several ways to meet new people without going to night clubs.  There are neighborhood groups, political groups, religious groups, volunteer organizations, and meet-up groups by interest listed on the Internet.  Just use common sense and be careful.  Don’t put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.

Whether you end up wanting to change yourself or change some of the people who are around you, life doesn’t have to remain the same.  Consider yourself like a work of art—a work in progress.  You’ll always have choices!

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