Self & Change

Most of us have some sense about how we would like to live our lives. Yet again and again, we act against our own values and ideals. Powerful patterns, habits, and self-images seem to be in control, preventing us from making the changes we would like.

Often people find it difficult to make positive changes in their lives–whether in terms of patterns of behavior, ways of thinking, or ways of acting and reacting. Again and again, we act against our own values and ideals, our own intentions and the promises we make to ourselves and others.

A compelling logic seems to guarantee that our efforts to change will fail. I am the one who needs to make the change. But I am also the one who needs to be changed. How can the old ‘I’ become a new ‘I? How can ‘I’ be the one to make that happen? We seem to be trapped, going round in a circle.

To break out of this circle, let’s drop the focus on ‘me’ as the one that wants to change and look instead at the moment when change happens. The moment of change is not about ‘me’ or ‘I’. The moment is a whole, the whole of what is happening right now. Put differently, everything that’s ‘going on’ is going on together. For change to happen, that whole co-operating reality has to change.

Think of reality as a story we inhabit in the same way a character in a novel inhabits that novel. If the story supports change (and sometimes it does), change follows. If not, change will not happen. Whether ‘I’ change is not up to me! It depends on the story.

Suppose we could drop our commitment to ‘I’ and live the story as a whole. We would need to explore the intricacies of what is going on, to discover the story in its widest and deepest dimensions. Here–beyond ‘my’ wishes and wants, frustrations and disappointments–alive to the whole of what is going on, we discover the power to change.

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