Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Am I Really Ready to be Changed?

I've been thinking a lot lately about change; about how I've spent a good many of my adult years trying to change, to grow, to improve myself. One of the steps in O.A. deals with asking God to remove our defects of character, and it seems like I've been asking God, my teachers, myself to do that for a very long time. So, why hasn't it worked? Why oh why do I still have these so-called defects, when I've been working on this for such a long time? Why oh why can't I make the changes I want to make and have them stick?

It occurred to me that I might not want to BE changed; I might not be ready. I think I'm coming to see that changing is not something I do; rather, changing is something that happens to me--WHEN I AM READY. I've done all kinds of work on myself, taken all these classes, spent enormous sums of money attending self-help programs, thinking I was going to change myself, my actions, my behaviors. But, what have I really changed of these things? Granted, some of it has been fruitful. At the very least, I got to know a different perspective; a different way to see things. But all in all, I don't think much of it has allowed me to make any significant changes to myself.

So, why? I come back to the idea that in order to be changed, I have to be willing for that to happen. I have to let go--of certain ideas, certain beliefs, certain ways of being that I have clung to. I can see that these beliefs and ways of being have been very helpful to me. There's a lot I've managed to do in this life (or so I think) because of holding on to these beliefs. And therein lies the rub. If I am not willing to let go of these beliefs and ways of being; if I'm not open to the possibility that there are different ways that could work better, no change can happen, no matter how profound the teacher, the book or the workshop leader. It seems that Life itself cannot change me, if I am not willing to let go.

On other hand, what would it be like to wake up in the morning and ask myself, "Am I really ready to be changed," instead of assuming that's what I would like? What would it be like to hear a "no" if that's what's there, instead of just assuming that change is what's best for me or that it's something I'm really ready to have happen? As I write this, I experience tremendous relief. A great sense of gratitude that I would be willing to hear "no" and accept it. A feeling that I can finally leave me alone. When I'm ready, I'll be changed, and until then, I can relish the me that exists right now.

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