Humility does not come easy for most of us. Especially me. I admit it. Saying I am wrong and changing the way I think is NOT easy … but IS possible.
I’ve been seeing a wonderful counselor for over 4 years now. One thing we worked on for a long time was, “We can’t change anyone. We can only change ourselves.”
I cried a lot because I couldn’t comprehend why I was the one who had to change when I felt like I was the “victim” in every situation. I was not the one who did wrong. I am the one who is trying my hardest to do right and bad things continually happen to me. Why do I have to change? The other person needs to change, not me!
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” -unknown
I was going insane hoping others would change. I tried and tried to make the others change. I just got more stressed, frustrated, and upset. The only other option was to change me.
In order for me to change I had to
- Humble myself and accept I needed to change. (Getting to this point often takes me a long time to get to. I’m working on humbling myself quicker… 😛 )
- Learn how and what I need to change.
- Just do it. I often need to pray to have strength and courage to make the change because change is hard.
One of the biggest things I had to change was my expectations.
When I first became a single mom, I expected financial help from my children’s father. I expected a certain amount each month to help me provide for the basic needs of my children. When my money didn’t come I would get all stressed out and emotionally bent out of shape. I’d worry, cry, and basically be a total mess. I would be so angry that it was emotionally draining. My children’s father’s main job these past years is seasonal, mostly depending on tourism so it’s not completely his fault money isn’t regular.
I was tired of the stress and anxieties I felt from my unmet expectations. I was tired of always being angry. I finally accepted the fact that I could not change him and his income. So I decided I needed to change my expectations. I decided I would do my best to provide for all our basic needs (rent, insurance, medical/dental, food, clothing, school stuff, etc) myself. Whatever money I did receive in child support, I decided to count it as BLESSINGS.
As I chose to change my focus and expectations, my frustration and anger toward my ex dissolved. I was now able to have calm peaceful conversations with my ex without any resentment for unmet expectations. My focus was now on what I can do to financially provide for my children. When any child support does come in, I am HAPPY for the blessings that came.
I’ll be completely honest with you, I’m far from perfect and I sometimes do slip backward and freakout about not having my children’s financial expectations met. Especially when unexpected things pop up in our lives like another child needing braces or an expensive overnight field trip. I still do freak out by ranting and raving, getting on my poor ex husband’s case. He doesn’t deserve to be talked down to and made to feel less of a person. I’m not perfect. I continue to have to humble myself and make changes to myself. I need to continue to focus on what I can do and the blessing we do have, rather than what we lack.
We have been gifted life to learn and be better. It’s our choice how we choose to act in each situation.
Please share how you have chosen to change in a difficult situations, I would love to learn from your experiences too.