When everyone else should change because you are PERFECT (or at least, that’s what I tell myself)

A couple of months back, I had a conversation with a friend.  I started by whinging and moaning about how I didn’t feel like I could change.

Anna – “I feel it’s hopeless. I’ve tried it before and I’ve never been able to have a big emotional change on something. I’ve never got through a ‘causal emotion’” – all that depression and blame and anger-talk.

C-  “Have you really wanted to change or have you wanted other people to change? You like your way don’t you?   You have people where you want them to be.  You do what you like.  Everything’s feels like it’s in your control and you get what you want. You’re pretty happy with that right?  You like it your way.  So why would you want any other way?”

This person pointed out that it seemed I didn’t really want to change, but I wanted people around me to change.   I didn’t really want it any other way but My Own Way, lest of all God’s Way.   I thought for a few moments about past experiences where I thought I was trying to change emotionally. What this person had said was so true!  An example that came to mind was I have a desire for a relationship with Tris, so I change a little bit to get that relationship, but once I have got it (am in a relationship with Tris), I sit back.  From then on, I want everyone else to change.

Because I’ve got a superior attitude that I was taught by mum and dad, my tendency when I’m challenged is to think I’m all right and it’s everyone else who needs changing because ‘they made me’ mad/angry/scared/etc. I find it unnatural to truly question myself (particularly on issues that are ‘close to the bone’) and consider my own wrongness. My superiority steps in and holds up it’s hands, saying, “Righto, righto.  Let’s back this right up.  I know I’m okay. I’m always okay.  So the problem must be you.  Let me find a million ways to explain how right I am to you…

My attitude is not, “Okay.  Let’s do this.  Let’s look at this.  Let’s look at this issue through a bigger lens than my own.  Let’s look at this WITH GOD’S EYES.  I have this big issue (it’s mine) and I really need to change it.  I need to get more love in me on this subject.  I’m out of alignment with God’s Way (not visa-versa).  God, can you be with me and help me as I try to love more? Can you help me to change my heart so that I can love more, all the time?”  No. Unfortunately, my attitude is not like that 98% of the time.

Later, a friend asked, “What will your life be like if you don’t change?”  We talked about the strain on my relationship with Tris, the endless cycles, the absence of a family I hope for, and the sadness of it all. Then she asked, “Why don’t you want to change? What are you afraid will happen if you do change?”  I don’t yet know the answer to these questions.  I can intellectually speculate, and I cry, but the two don’t seem connected just yet.  I don’t want to really know what’s going on just yet.

Tris and I were talking about my attitude towards CHANGE and The Biggest Loser. For those who don’t know, The Biggest Loser is a show in which obese participants elect to go on a 3 month intensive weight loss boot-camp.  When it comes to change, these participants know they need it – and are so willing to be humble to the fact, that they elect to go on a television show that will scrutinise their highs and lows on their way to weight loss.  The participants have:

Step 1: An understanding of where they are. They are overweight, unhealthy and unhappy about it. They know where they are. Right now.   They’re under no illusions and they are not trying to hide it.

(I get stuck at this phase often – I love my facade too much, and Truth just not enough!  Also, my superiority software, as I now call my superior-attitude-programming, means that I refuse to question myself in any way where I might be imperfect, incorrect, out-of-line and in-need-of-change.  This makes progressing fairly impossible. So, on second thoughts, I rarely even make it to Step 1)

Step 2: A feeling that who they currently are is not okay with them. They have seen themselves for who they are (step 1) and they have decided they want something different, they want something more healthy and wholesome.

Step 3: A desire to change themselves. The participants are so brave they are willing to place the rest of their life on hold for three months, be filmed in their underwear on national television and to experience pain and discomfort and hunger in their quest for change. How courageous is this!?

Tris reflected that often the participants who have the most success are those who allow themselves the emotional breakdowns (of which there are many), but continue to follow the ‘guidelines’ of their exercise and eating programs.

I think this is maybe how we are to change too.  I think we need to let ourselves have the emotional breakdowns, but still strive to follow what we know about God’s Laws and Truth, Honesty, Kindness, Ethics, Generosity, Humility, Passion and Hard Work.  I don’t know about you, but as an adult, I tend to have the emotional tantrum, then go on my merry way doing what it is that I want to do.  I am sorely in need of a parent who holds me and holds me up – holds me while I feel – but holds me up to the highest standards I simply cannot waltz away from.   I need God.  I need to engage with God as my parent so I can be actively engaged in walking God’s Way.

Questions that helped me:

  1. What will my life be like if I don’t change?
  2. Why don’t I want to change?

* * *

It’s been a while since Tris or I have written on this blog.  Tris has been very busy this year with God’s Way.  A month ago, Tris and I decided to take a break from our relationship.  This was instigated by me and was due to various reasons (and I’m sure there would be differing reasons cited by each of us); the superiority and refusal to change (as discussed briefly in this blog) is a major one.  While I’m in this place, Tris and I have very different values and futures that we would like to work towards, which makes a relationship difficult.  While I’m in this place, I treat Tris poorly, as I refuse to shift on issues that negatively impact our relationship and put pressure on Tris to do things My Way (and Tris is keen to live and learn God’s Way, not mine!).

I wonder how things will go, and it may be quite some time before we are able to be in a relationship together.  My desire to change and love are wavering and very inconsistent, and until I’m consistently working towards similar values as Tris, it would be impossible for us to be together.  I still really like Tris, and I love him and hope that we’ll be able to be together again at some point soon.  However, this is all in my hands, and my hands are rather self-serving and arrogant at the moment!

It’s all a part of our story, and hopefully I can learn and grow through it.

Until next time!

Love, Anna