Imagine for a moment that you’re sick and you go see a doctor to explain what you are suffering from.
After having listened to you carefully, the doctor says, “All right. I have interpreted your symptoms. Do you know what we are going to do? I will prescribe medication to your neighbor!”
– Thanks a million, doctor. I already feel much better,” do you say.
If you’re like me, you most probably find this hypothetical story completely absurd. And yet, this story is a perfect reflection of what we all do. We imagine that we will feel better, get better, and stay better if someone else changes, if some circumstances of our lives change.
We think: I would be much happier if this or that person changed. I would be much happier if my neighbor changed, my romantic partner changed, my boss changed, my clients changed, my children changed.
We also think: I would be much happier if this or that situation changed. I would be much happier if I had more money in my bank account, if I lost a few pounds, if my business was more successful, if I was better at writing and public speaking, if the weather was warmer and sunnier.
We erroneously believe that we are going to feel better, get better, and stay better only when someone else will have changed, only when a situation will have changed.
But what would really happen if this or that person changed? What would really happen if this or that situation changed? Alas, we would find ourselves to be as vulnerable as before. We are the ones who need to change. In reference to our hypothetical story, we are the ones who need medication.
Remember this: We do not feel good because all is well in our world. All is well in our world because we feel good. The way to change things in our lives is to first change ourselves. That’s what the mystics and the most prominent teachers keep repeating over and over again since the beginning of time.
© Chantal Beaupre 2011