How can you change it! When u have done all that's possible?
This response to a post I wrote some years ago caught my attention. I'm often asked this question or something like it, and I've struggled with it as well in my practice and my life.
- What if they won't change, regardless of my efforts?
- Why am I always the one who has to change?
- What if you can't change the situation, but you can't leave it either?
When you've done everything you can do, what then?
When you change...
When you've done all that's possible to change a situation, person, or problem, that's all you can do, and it's best to stop trying. This may sound defeatist. And... the real power is in changing you--your position, attitude, or response, because ...
- People won't change unless they want to, unless there's a benefit.
- You're the one to change, because you're the one with the skill to do so. If they could do things differently, they would.
- If you can't--or rather choose not to--leave a situation that is difficult, your choices are to cope or complain. In a workplace setting, for example, you may wisely choose to stay working for a challenging boss for financial reasons. And you do what's necessary to maintain a healthy relationship.
- When you've done everything you can, stop, center, and learn from the situation. People tell me all the time that when they stopped trying to change the other person, the other person changed by themselves. I think it's because they sense a change in the field. They no longer feel the push or pull and they can change because they want to, not because they have to.
Trying not to change someone--in fact realizing you can't--and holding that space from center may feel like you're suspended in mid-air, not knowing, just taking one breath at a time, one step at a time, relinquishing control. As challenging as it may be, this is a place of learning and growth. Being comfortable with discomfort, as my yoga teacher says.
When you change, everything changes. When you stop trying to change the situation--the situation may change. At the least, it's likely to stop bothering you.
In the meantime, here's another post on the topic: What If They Don't Want to Resolve The Conflict?
Question: What do you do when faced with unchangeable situations and people?