Choosing Not to Change

One of the biggest challenges in life is people.  We’re surrounded by them and their plans, dreams, desires and habits.  Some of us are better at dealing with idiosyncrasies and differences than others, but as long as we live in this modern world we don’t really have a choice: we all have to deal with people.  In a relationship or parenting situation it goes beyond that: you’re choosing to be with or stuck with those people.  No, you don’t have to stay in the relationship or stay connected with your parents/kids after 18 but until you choose or are able to leave you’re going to continue dealing with those people.

In our modern world there are very few of us who don’t have a say in the matter.  If you’re staying in a relationship or continuing to expose yourself to your family that would be your choice.  Some of the biggest issues come in when you tell someone they have to change or you try to change someone so that you’re OK staying connected with them.

Yes, we all have things we can/should/could change and improve, that’s not the issue here.  The issue is when you’re trying to change someone or encouraging them to change for your benefit rather than theirs.  With relationships you chose to participate in that relationship with that person because of who you know them to be.  While you can’t know everything about someone, my partner and I are still learning stuff about each other 5+ years later, there are things that interest you initially and reasons why you’re willing to enter into that relationship.

Yes, some things you learn about the people in your life will challenge and annoy you.  The challenging goal is 3 part: 1-accept that you will be annoyed by them, probably on a daily basis.  2-know that you don’t have to take any abuse or hatred, that’s not acceptable.  3-don’t lose sight of the things that attracted them to you in the first place and the things you still love about them and the things you’ve discovered you love about them.

Consider change this weekend: what really needs to change? Is it the other person, is it yourself, or are you both OK as you are and have to work more on loving and less on fighting?

“Don’t try to change anybody. And they should let you be yourself, ‘You loved me when you met me, so let’s keep going!'” Willie Nelson

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