This is not about your spouse, your children, or your relatives. It’s not about your friends, co-workers or anyone else you associate with. It’s not about the ex-boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband and that thing they did that caused the breakup. It’s not about your childhood friend who grew up to be more successful than you and whom you envy. It’s not about the professor you had in college with whom you argued about his grading methods. It’s not about the annoying co-worker who smacks their lips and gums when they chew. It’s not about the boss with whom you whole-heartedly disagreed with and know for a fact was wrong but wouldn’t listen to your counsel and advice. This is not about the doctor who repeatedly tells you to quit the unhealthy habits, get more exercise, and eat right. It’s not about your local, state, or federal political leader who doesn’t share your philosophy or beliefs. This isn’t about any of those people. It’s about one person and that person is YOU.
As YOU live from day to day, YOU may live your life in a constant state of frustration, blaming everyone else for YOUR problems. YOU may feel YOU live a miserable life. At other times, YOU may feel YOUR life is okay, that everything is peachy-keen and hunky-dory, but deep down YOU are unhappy, unsure, confused. Perhaps, YOU feel tired all the time. YOU feel weak. YOU start your day off by hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock, just so you can get a few more minutes of rest before heading to a job you can’t stand but know you can’t quit because you have a family to support and bills to pay. A friend or loved one sees YOUR frustration and tries to talk to YOU but YOU shut them out. YOU’RE not sure what to say or how to say it and when YOU shut them out, an argument occurs about how the two of YOU will never talk about the things that make YOU feel the way YOU feel. By the time YOU’RE done arguing, YOU either no longer want to talk about it or have forgotten what YOU were going to say in the first place and thus the pattern of frustration and misery continues.
Sometimes, YOUR state of frustration leads to depression. Eventually YOUR significant other, relative, friend, co-worker, boss, religious leader, or some other person, encourages YOU to go see a therapist. At first, YOU ignore their advice, telling them YOU’RE fine, that nothing’s wrong. This of course is a lie. After much prodding and pushing, YOU eventually go to the therapist, but YOU don’t go because YOU want to or feel YOU should, YOU go because YOU’RE tired of the constant nagging and hope it will get people to leave YOU alone. YOU begin YOUR weekly visits to the therapist. At first, YOU say very little. Eventually YOU start to open up. YOU share YOUR innermost thoughts and feelings; things YOU felt YOU couldn’t share with anyone else or didn’t share with anyone. The therapist gives YOU much counsel and advice. YOU ignore most of it. Many months and several thousand dollars later, nothing has changed. Why? Because YOU have not made the decision to change. YOU continue to blame everyone else for YOUR problems.
It’s been said that life is like a story. Only the story of life is real. There are no fictional characters; characters whose fate is determined at the hand of the writer. Rather the fate of life’s characters is determined by the choices each character makes. Some may argue that this statement is false, that one’s fate is determined by the environment in which they live. They argue that culture, socio-economic status, human associations and relations, educational opportunities, religious affiliations, etc. determine individual fate. These do not determine YOUR fate, but they may impact YOUR fate. The impact they have may be good or bad, but ultimately, the impact they have will depend on your response. Their impact will influence the choices YOU make, and it is these choices that will determine YOUR fate. It begins with:
Choose now to make the change. Choose to do good, to do right. Don’t wait until you reach the tipping point. Don’t wait until fear, frustration, loss, or social, medical or personal problems FORCE you to change. It may not be easy. It may take time and lots of work, but when you choose to change the benefits will come, and when you feel and experience those benefits it can lead to permanent change. In the end, when YOU change,
all change and the world around us changes.