There are some things that are a fact of life.
Gravity for example. You don’t resist the law of gravity. You accept that gravity stops you from flying. You can’t jump that high, so you don’t even try.
When you accept a fact of life, such as the law of gravity, it liberates you from the false idea that you can change the unchangeable.
Trying to change the fixed truths of life scatters your focus and energy. If you resist what is true, you will spend your time disappointed, frustrated, and miserable.
One thing about relationships that you cannot change is the fact that other people will not always be trustworthy, kind, and caring. The reality is that, at times, we encounter “fallible human beings.” You simply cannot change that fact of life.
That fact, however, does not prevent you from being trustworthy, kind, and caring.
If you hold on to the idea that others should be a certain way, you will surely feel victimized when they are not, and you will be caught in the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) and its reactive roles. The DDT is fueled by negative energy that arises when your controlling ego wants you to believe something that is not true.
When you resist a fact of life as fundamental as not being able to change other people, your reactive self will beat its head against the wall trying to change what is unmovable. The Persecutor in you will attempt to exert control. Or the Rescuer in you will come up with a zillion ideas about how to “fix” the other person.
We have come to deeply appreciate the prayer by the philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr that has become a foundation of the recovery movement: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
In many ways we are all recovering from the illusion that we can change other people. So much drama in the world is rooted in resisting life as it is. Sure, there is suffering, sadness and many people and situations are simply not the way we want them to be. When we resist accepting what we cannot change, we are diluting our focus on being the person we want to be.
As we stop our attempt to control or change what we cannot change, we free our energy to focus on how we want to live and respond to life’s challenges. We discover a new vitality to create the way we choose to be in relationships with ourselves and others.
This is why the positive antidote to the DDT was named TED* (The Empowerment Dynamic) ®. A renewed feeling of self-empowerment begins to arise and we live life with more ease and peace of mind.
Think for a second what your life would be like if you denied the law of gravity. What a ridiculous waste of energy! In the coming weeks, experiment with accepting this fact of life; that you cannot change other people.
Instead, focus on yourself and being the best person you want to be at home and work. That is one thing you can change.