All change is local. Like between your ears local.
A lot of people we talk to seem to be obsessed with the idea of change, specifically changing someone else. He does this. She does that. What’s her problem and why won’t she change? This wish for change is directed at a loved one, spouse, or companion. We think that if the other person changes, then we’ll be happy. We think the barrier to our happiness is another person’s bad behavior…this is the wall. We have built this wall and we convince ourselves that just on the other side of it is our happiness.
If only, this other person would act, behave and/or think the way I need them to, than I will be ok:
If only, I was in a relationship.
If only, I was not in my current relationship.
If only, I had a new job.
If only, I had a new car.
If only, I lived in a nicer apartment, house, etc.
If only is the mental building material composed of unrealistic expectation, comparison and despair (to name but a few). It’s so common among most of us that we are each complicit in believing that our happiness has been constructed by someone else. He/She will not do what I’ve asked. He/She does not seem to be able to meet my needs, therefore they are the obstacle to my happiness.
The truth is, however, that the wall blocking us from our own happiness has been built by us, individually. Brick by brick, each of us has built a wall that keeps us from the life we believe we should be living. Each brick in our personal wall is a reason for blame and victimization. I blame you. Next brick. Our liberation to happiness and serenity can not be dependent upon the actions, behaviors and thoughts of other people. We are each responsible for our own feelings, emotions and mental well being. In other words, I am a wall I must climb.
In upcoming posts we’ll look at each of the bricks in the walls that we build which limit our happiness, and more importantly, limit our ability to be of help to those around us. Ultimately, what we will find is that all the bricks in our wall are bonded together with the other essential component of masonry, mortar. The mortar holding the bricks in place of the wall that I must climb is always selfishness.