You Can’t Change Anyone But Yourself

I’ve got it all figured out. Seriously. Just ask me. I’ll tell you.

That’s the secret, right? Once you know what you need to do and do it, you’re on the path to enlightenment. Identify your weaknesses, eliminate your faults, and focus on the future. As long as you get a little bit better every single day, you can do anything. You can be the best you that you can be.

I mean, after my heart surgery, I had to make some pretty big choices and that’s exactly what I did. Between my lifestyle and my mental state, I got so many issues under control. Since that cold December night in 2012, I’ve taken the steps to be that best me that I can be – the me that I always strived for. Because of that, in my mind, I’ve become someone who can do anything. Well, almost anything.

The natural next step is to share that with the world and bring them to my enlightened state of bliss. Let’s be honest. The world can use it. Every day, there are people struggling and battling personal demons. Many of them are the same demons I battled. The angry, frustrated, green eyed monsters of my past still exist in the hearts of those who have been around me, both past and present. I can see them and I know, that through my words, I can eliminate them from their lives, much like I did from my own. Like I said, just ask me. I’ll tell you.

birdsSo why are those demons still there? Why do those I’ve come in contact with not bask properly in my glory and rise to the top of this tall horse I’m perched upon? Why do they still struggle in the darkness when I know the path to the light?

Because you can’t change anyone but yourself, that’s why.

God, I want to, though. I think back on those who I’ve had to watch drift away. Major players in my life’s story have been left on the battlefield to reject my hand, deny my existence, and curse my name. I’ve had to walk away from friends, family, and loved ones that I knew I could save, if only they’d see. The knowledge that I had the road map to redemption completely laid out for them made that decision all the more painful.

The fact is that you can’t save someone from drowning unless they want to be saved. You pull their arm with all your strength and beg for their help in helping themselves, but if they close their eyes and inhale every ounce of water they can, you have no choice. You can’t hold on to that. Eventually, they go from being a human you’re trying to rescue to another weight to pull you down to the bottom. Before you know it, you’re both on the ocean floor and there’s no light down there. There’s nothing at all.

I may have enlightenment, but that’s a very different thing than having control. We learn that fact when we have children. Kids are their own people and, while we can teach them and guide them, they ultimately become their own adults. Offer inspiration and encouragement. Make deals with God and the Universe, but you can’t control who they turn into. Only they themselves can do that. That’s all any of us can do.

You can lead by example and show the benefits of setting proper goals, but you can’t walk the steps for anyone. None of us can. We all have to travel our own individual journeys. It’s important to remember that fact for the sake of our own sanity and for the sanity of those around us. Eventually, we all have to wash our hands of the things that we can’t change and embrace the wisdom to know what those things are.

I know there are a hundred people who can read this post today and think I’ve written it about them. They’re right. It’s about all of them, but it’s also about none of them. Truth be told, it’s really just about me. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that’s the only person it can be about.