Wednesday, April 28, 2010

True or False: my healing and happiness is dependent on someone or something outside of myself changing

Here's a "true or false" question...

"Changing my life begins with changing the people in my life or the circumstances of my life"

This is partially true.

Living this self-empowered life has brought changes, many good changes, to my life. But not one of them was because of what someone else did or a circumstance that affected these changes.

The change from within is what changed my life.

True - when we change us, oftentimes our relationships will evolve or even go the wayside as we become healthier and learn how to identify unhealthy relationships and find ourselves with a new tolerance for behaviors that are no longer tolerable.

And true again - sometimes in this life changing process of healing, hope and self discovery our environment and life circumstance changes as we grow and begin to reach for and live in our full potential.

But unless we change from the inside out...we'll wake up beside a different spouse/partner and find ourselves living the same drama at home, at work, in our relationships and life circumstances - because no matter what external changes we make in our life...we still wake up with us every day.

Over the years, I'd heard the idea that I could only change me, that I can run from my problems but would still wake up with me every day, that I was powerless to change others, I could only change myself.

But I didn't get it.

Until I started looking inside myself for the source of my miserableness instead of searching outside myself for the next right job, partner, spouse, house, car, therapist, doctor, pill - that would "fix" me or make me smile - at least until I became miserable again.

Then the quest would start over as I shopped, ate (or didn't eat), drank, fought, argued and once again re-created the drama that indicated that it was time once again to make some external change.

And for awhile my world was in order - as long as I could orchestrate my life - but god help anyone or anything that didn't fit into my plan of how life should look.

I was dependent on external source - people, places and things - to derive my sense of worth and happiness from.

I was living in a cycle. And it was exhausting.

When I finally depleted all of the external resources and exhausted my personal energy in my quest to live and be happy I found the best resource that would change my life.


And this takes us back to the topic of "Labels" as one of those internal changes that changed my life, my mood, my dependence on people, places and things outside of myself in my search for health and happiness.

It is possible to create change and live the life we choose without having to "hit bottom". Knowledge is empowering and finding our own personal truth sets us free; I hope you'll join me here again as we continue this quest and lay the foundation for you to find your own answers and learn how to live your own truth that sets you free.

Your feedback is appreciated and helpful...please leave your thoughts, comments or questions about this idea of internal vs. external changes....

Have fun creating your own best day ever!


Stacy said...

Thanks for this post. It's come a timely moment for me as I'm thinking about my next blog post.
I agree that out happiness/contentment should come from the inside out. Not "buts" about it. It's tough though.
I know my emotional state is very vulnerable to my enviroment. How much stress I'm under and so forth. But I can also see that the changes we make in ourselves, the lifestyle we create with our choices, and the skills we use to manage stress are ways of changing our environment which is a change from the inside out.
I wish I could say that I expect myself to ultimately be able to stay calm and cool and content under any circumstances, because I'm a whole, content person. I can hope for that. :)

Susan said...

Hope is the beginning; somehow we each find what we need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. It takes time but this is something that is doable, regardless of the opinion of those who believe otherwise!

And you're absolutely right about the lifestyle choices we make and how they affect our ability to create change and practice new skills - all changes from within ourselves. :)

Before I was able to actually respond the way I wanted to I started by telling myself that I could do it and how I wanted to "be"...affirmations that I was a stable personality, calm, confident, kind....and of course - brilliant! (I still talk nice to myself this way!)

I so enjoy that you have been stopping by, Stacy; you make some really good points and your feedback is helpful to me!


Patricia Singleton said...

Thankfully all of my growing has been inside of a 37+ marriage. My husband won't admit it but he has made changes in himself that has kept up with the changes that I have made in myself. We are both accepting of where we are in our relationship and within ourselves.

I love the awareness that we are the only ones responsible for changing ourselves. If I am not happy, I can only look at myself to find out why.

Thanks for sharing this great article.

Susan said...

Isn't that an empowering feeling? Knowing that I truly have the power to change anything about my life that doesn't suit me! A far cry from the helplessness I felt in my past...:)

So glad you stopped by Patricia!