It's Up To Yo
I see you ~
Working hard to figure things out,
Questioning if it’s possible,
Wondering if it’s worth it.
Struggling to make sense of things – this moment, this life, this stuff you’re going through.
You despair to think that change is a unicorn.
You wonder how much therapy you have to endure.
How many times around the block – the same damn block – before change happens?
What does that even mean, change?
Difference – modification – replacement – alteration.
Usually from something not preferred to something more desired.
Change is that action you want others to make.
Miserable job? The boss is a jerk. Unhappy marriage? The spouse needs “adjustment.” Crappy environment? The landlord’s to blame – or the city, the county, the country… … the President? ? ?
You get the idea. There’s a lot of room for change in the world. And if we’re honest, we usually think it’s others who need to make it. But you already know how that’s gonna end – feeling stuck.
Here’s the truth – and the hope within it: It’s up to you.
You’re an active participant in the life you now live.
Life is not happening to you – but because of you.
If you’re feeling stuck, wanting change, going nowhere – then it is up to you, and you alone, to make it happen.
Hope returns when we own the responsibility for change to take place.
So what will it require?
A change in perspective – which simply put, means seeing things differently. Perspective is a viewpoint, an outlook, a mindset. And also an attitude.
So the critical starting point to making change is to consider how you are seeing the various aspects and situations in your life, and whether you might be able to walk around to the other side of your thoughts and look at them differently.
Have you ever played a game with friends that involves viewing a board to make words or see images? One such game is the word match Boggle. It’s a game in which cubes with letters are shaken together and fall into a 4x4 or 5x5 grid. The players try to make words out of the letters by seeing how they connect from one letter to the next. Players are usually able to see lots of words within the connecting cubes, but when the game is over and the grid is turned, players are amazed to see more words emerge. The new words they are noticing have always been there. It’s just that without the pressure of time, or the narrow position from which they were viewing things, or the preconception of finding certain words, the player is now open to seeing other options. It never fails.
I heard a story once – about two disheveled young men walking into a town square where they noticed a large fountain. As they approached the fountain they took off their outer clothes, then stepped into the basin to wash their bodies. Upon closer view it became apparent that they were stained with blood. The onlookers scowled with disgust. They berated the youngsters for their disrespect, for using public space for personal hygiene. When local authorities approached them, they told their story: In an alley nearby a child had collided with a speeding cyclist. The young men had rushed to their aid, administering help, tearing their clothing to dress the wounds. Once the cyclist and child had been taken to hospital the young men found themselves covered in blood. There were no public restrooms nearby, and people they passed turned quickly away, rejecting their requests for help. So when they discovered the fountain – in they plunged.
I recall being deeply touched when I heard that story. It reminded me of how quickly I rush to judgment, how many assumptions I hold. How much understanding I lack.
Walking around to the other side of one’s thoughts means turning the game grid, getting the bigger picture, hearing another part of the story. It might mean relinquishing beliefs about the way things should be – or acknowledging bias or suspending judgment.
The beginning of change starts with the mindset that change is possible. That it’s up to you and not someone else.
It starts with realizing that as an adult in America, you are in control of you. You have permission to take the reins of your life, to set a course, to change direction.
It probably means letting go of long-held beliefs that have kept you looking at only one side of the issues.
It doesn’t mean that everyone else is right or that you’re wrong. It means that if you are feeling the need for change then it is important to recognize that you are in charge of making that change. For you. The likely reason it hasn’t happened is because it’s hard – to modify perspective, alter a mindset, shift one’s thinking. Which is why the “others” you have been hoping would change haven’t already done so.
There are a lot of cliches and psychological statements that communicate the truth that “The buck stops here.”
When you’re ready to shift your life, to get unstuck, to move forward with hopes and dreams –
Start by knowing: It’s up to you.