How many times does it take to change?

If you’re anything like me you’ve been sure that this time is the time you will ‘do it’—whatever ‘it’ is—but it isn’t. I could see the pattern: go on a diet, gain the weight back; start an exercise routine, let it go; decide to go for a better job, stay where I was; break up with my boyfriend, get back together; be positive, get sad (or mad); but I couldn’t see how to change it.

What I was doing was trying to change without understanding myself and my motivations. A lot of times the motivation, which looked like ‘the truth’ to me, came from a negative place (no one will ever love you, you are lazy, you should be doing more). I thought I was being honest with myself and that by facing my truth I could will myself to change. This is really important because so many of us think that if we get mad enough, and yell at ourselves enough, we will finally get the message and CHANGE!!

Pema Chodron says: …Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. 

Only when I began a compassionate relationship with myself did things start to really change. I didn’t have to ‘try’, or will myself, to do something—it came naturally, out of desire.

When I was able to get in touch with what I was thinking and feeling in a space of non-judgement and compassion was when I could learn what I needed to know. In that space I could get underneath the negative thoughts and see they were connected to old hurts I was carrying around. In that space of love and empathy I could allow the emotions to be felt without falling apart or running for a donut.

Negative thoughts and feelings are there for a reason, they need to be heard and they need to be tended to without fear of getting beat up. That is how Change Happens!

The other thing I want to share is that how you talk to yourself is how you talk to others—especially the ones closest to you. If your way of working on yourself is to beat yourself up and call out your shortcomings that’s how you’ll speak to your partner, or kids, or colleagues. So another huge benefit of having a compassionate relationship to your self is you’ll see important relationships change too, and it will blow your mind.

One person can make a difference. When you change, everything around you changes.

Have you had an experience where you changed something and it influenced someone close, or created a new dynamic? Leave a comment below.

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