Many people long for change in their lives; at least, many people talk about wanting change in their lives. The healthier lifestyle, the better paid job, the more satisfying relationship, the more toned body, to do more reading etc. Whatever it happens to be, it seems that there are only some people who bring about those longed-for changes. But, why do so many people fail to bring about meaningful change in their life?
Some might suggest that change in our own personal lives is a matter of will power, and that failure to bring it about is purely a matter of weakness. The strong are those that change, and live the lives the way they want.
However, what if talking about change was a sure-fire way to avoid it? What if, we actually talked about change, so that we could avoid it? Surely that couldn’t make sense….could it?
Well, if you believe that humans are pretty straight-forward, coherent kinds of creatures, then you would probably be at least a little cynical about this suggestion.
However, if you understand humans like I do … as often-incoherent, often-conflicted, often self-defeating, then, you would at least bend an ear in interest to what I have to say.
What do we get out of not changing?
This is an especially hard question to answer for those who are finding the thought of change paralysing. To suggest that we get something out of the lifestyle, or behaviour that we are continuing on even though we may find it deeply unsatisfying or frustrating, seems counter intuitive. It is, at least, often in conflict with the stories that people tell of themselves. But, I am sure you hear these stories all the time, and maybe you haven’t realised, but, you have probably been asked to nod your head along with these stories, in obligatory affirmation.
Stories of how I would love this or that, or to do this or that, if only bla de bla de bla…and oh, indeed, I will do that when…when the time is right, when I have enough money, when I’ve lost a few pounds, when my children grow up and leave home, or when elephants fly. Maybe, ashamedly, you are the person telling these flying-elephant stories. I know I have been.
What are you and I willing to exchange for that satisfaction, because it doesn’t come free.
We humans are so habit-bound, that to bring about any change in our lives, will require at least, that we experience discomfort and displeasure on the journey to greener grass.
So, how much do you really want that change in your life?
And, as a famous rabbi once said…yada yada yada