Are you sick of people telling you that if you just believed harder, everything would turn out? Or that all you need to do is repeat affirmations or change the way you think?
If so, you might have felt (rightly) defensive a couple of weeks ago when I said that the thing you’re waiting for is waiting for you (to change and make change).
Sometimes, the problems people have are way beyond their control.
That’s why it’s so important to loop back and clarify that this argument I’ve been making is NOT about victim blaming. There’s too much of that going around as it is.
I've noticed that once people adopt the point of view that the mind itself is capable of initiating a radical transformation of circumstances, there’s a tendency for some of those converts to be rather unforgiving towards their brothers and sisters in less fortunate circumstances.
"If they just believed / had faith / did their inner work rather than complaining so much…."
Sometimes, external circumstances don’t change despite best efforts. Structural inequalities exist, really shitty luck exists, and a host of other impairments exist.
If everything were as simple as a mind trick, we’d all be driving Ferraris.
So where does that leave us?
Hopefully, it’s a gentle reminder to be more empathetic, not less empathetic, when we see someone struggling. Most of us can draw on the experience of having felt absolutely powerless at some point in our life.
It also leaves us full circle, back to the tips that I offered up last week for making massive change.
Because regardless of the external circumstances impeding your life, the kind of change we’re looking for – the kind that is life-transforming rather than a one-off fluke – ultimately does begin within.
Before any oppressed person has claimed equal rights, they first had to believe that they were worthy of those rights, they had to believe that the very system that oppressed them could change, and they had to believe that they had a role in that change.
Unless you change – change how you think, act, and believe, or even just change up the energy in order to allow a fresh perspective – then your unfavorable circumstances don’t have much chance of ever disappearing from your life. (And if they do, they’ll likely find their way back to you sooner rather than later.)
The change you seek might not happen as soon as you like, but you can still live differently, beginning today.
Remember that even the smallest of your efforts count: Lots of people say they wish things would change, but not everybody takes steps to see it happen.
You have the power to design your life and thoughts to the best of your ability within your circumstances, and those changes should never ever be downplayed or undervalued.
So here’s to you, exactly where you are.