Mental Health | Learning the life lesson that the only person you can change is yourself

Part of life's lessons is to accept that we can't change someone else, we can only change oursleves. Picture: Shutterstock.
Part of life's lessons is to accept that we can't change someone else, we can only change oursleves. Picture: Shutterstock.

A lot of us spend an inordinate amount of time searching for the answers we already have.

We fret and worry because we find the truth of the answers to those questions unacceptable. We want another solution; a different response; an easier path.

Living in the real world doesn't work that way. Contradictory attitudes result in conflict. We clash with the world around us.

If we choose to ignore the rules, regulations and guidelines that are part and parcel of being a functioning member of the real world, we are more likely to be met with rejection rather than the acceptance we seek.

That's not to suggest we can't be agents for positive change ... that we must accept what is and reject the notion that it can be any better.

First, however, is acceptance of a significant universal truth - that every individual is personally responsible and must accept the consequences of their actions and decisions.

And that's where many of us founder. There's a belief that if we push hard enough, wish hard enough or pray hard enough we will be able force another person to change direction.

It's in clinging to that belief that so much anxiety is generated.

We must accept that the only person we are able to change is ourselves. That often involves accepting answers we already carry in our hearts and heads.

  • Gary Bentley is a Rural Aid counsellor