Almost every day I write little notes to myself and tuck them away. They are usually a quick thought running through my head, anecdotes for the solving of all of the world’s problems or things that I’d like to think further on. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and write something down that I was sort of half-dreaming about only to wake up and have no idea what I was thinking.
In early October, I wrote down that “my ultimate goal is to no longer feel the need to change anyone.”
It took me a long time to be able to say this. Whether it be Mac vs PC, drinking craft beer, or more important personal matters, I have strong opinions that rarely translate to loving interactions and almost always reflect my need for control.
I find that the more annoyed we are at the world. The more we complain about others. The more we need someone else to change; the more unhappy and discontent we become. If I need anyone to do anything in order for me to find rest – the problem is with me, not them. There has been great freedom I have found in letting the world be, and letting people be who they are. There has been even more freedom in the practice of intentional encouragement towards those that I once felt the need to change.
Needing someone else to be something or do something creates a barrier from realizing your own need for control. We hide behind our displeasure of the world around us and never unpack and deal with the things inside of us that really need the work. Almost all displeasure of others is projection. How quick we get frustrated at how someone is affecting us to distract from who we are.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Next time you find yourself getting annoyed at someone else or thinking “if only they would….” Then may I suggest you ask yourself why you need them to change? Why does your contentment rest in the actions of someone else? Freedom lies in not needing to change anyone or anything, accepting what lies before you and loving all the way through. It’s a tough hurdle to get there, but I think it will be worth it.