This message goes out to anyone who feels like they cannot change.
I heard a song recently called “Low Life”, by the X-Ambassadors, that inspired me to write this post.
Listening to this song made me feel both sad and angry…realizing that some people come to a point in their lives where they believe that they are pretty much just – a low-life, a failure, an a**hole, a jerk, whatever – and they are going to simply accept that about themselves and live it. On another scale, many people simply accept their character flaws as “who they are” because thats easier than looking at those character flaws square in the eyes.
For those who really have ‘accepted’ this “low-life” mentality about yourselves:
…Maybe you were told that you were a “bad” kid, and so you continued to prove them right until it seemed to become who you really were. Maybe you were the “black sheep” of the family in some way, or have screwed up so badly in your life or hurt so many people that you feel like that is simply who you are and you might as well just embrace it… Maybe you’re apathetic, listless or don’t really care about others – yet you watch other people who seem to be full of love and pure heart and wish that you could be like them… Maybe you’re narcissistic and either wear it like a badge of honor, or live as a completely fabricated character to hide who you really are… Or maybe you’re just a regular person who wishes they could be less selfish, kinder, more patient.
I think we are bred or conditioned into becoming these things…Sometimes we become them out of survival. Sometimes it seems built into who we are, like we were born that way. Or maybe we’ve failed and hurt others so many times that we’ve given up trying to do things right. Either way, it is so easy to simply accept these qualities about ourselves and chalk it up to “Oh, well, thats the way I am”, or “I’ve been this way for so long, and I keep failing at getting better, so whatever – who cares – I’m done, this is me, like it or leave it”, or “I don’t want to change, I like being this way”, or “Every time I try to change, I fail, so f*ck it.”, or my personal favorite – “There’s nothing wrong with me – everyone else has the problem!”
Well, listen up.
Truly changing yourself is NOT EASY. Its not a cakewalk! It is HARD WORK. Actually looking at yourself and what you ARE doing that you DON’T want to look at?? Its NOT comfortable! It HURTS. In the sense that your head might explode! (Or feel like its going to). In fact sometimes its so uncomfortable that you’re not sure you’re going to be ok if you really look at this ’thing’! And this kind of change happens slowly…(but surely). Sometimes there are moments of epiphany, and sometimes you find that you’ve suddenly shifted significantly – but those are all based on many many many movements that you’ve already made – conditioning yourself – refusing to do the old behavior you would normally do even though it feels like it might kill you to turn the train left onto these rusty train tracks when you’re used to always turning right at the Y! Over and over and over again you do this!
Practice makes perfect! (Or rather, practice makes better!) You don’t HAVE to be stuck in ANY old behaviors! If you think that you do – you’re wearing the wrong glasses.
If there’s one sickness – a disease, in my opinion – that really deludes a lot of folks, is a lazy, selfish fog that makes you feel like either you don’t care or that there’s no point in trying…no reward…no high potential of success in changing yourself or who you are…so why try?
TRY because you CAN. Are you really going to lie there on your death bed never having TRIED?? Or given up trying? Its just so sad to me to hear people confessing that they see themselves as low-lifes or stuck the way they are and have accepted that. I just want to shake them and tell them to wake up, to not believe that lie… Maybe I just really believe in miracles, or maybe its easier to see into others from the outside – but I just hope that more people who have resigned to a life where they accept the “a**hole nature” of themselves – or they’ve simply stopped caring how that nature affects others around them – can give up their sorry song of complacency and realize that it is simply a deluded fog that is keeping them from seeing that they CAN change their ways.
I think some people also have the more and more common problem of not really being able to feel. It seems to me that many either have no idea they are missing empathy, (though it is usually quite apparent to many around them). Or they recognize it in others and learn how to feign it, but have no hope for it to ever come naturally to them…which may be valid…but I believe the more you try to face those parts of yourself that don’t want to change – and force those behaviors to be different, time and time again – you start whittling and chipping away at something that seems very hard – but then slowly becomes soft and more open. And you can then begin to FEEL – truly feel – into places and things you didn’t know you had capacity for.
The larger reasons and motivations for us to change are more wide and broad than could even be explained here… But I liken them to this analogy:
A small, starving child alone on the streets has nothing… and you appear and offer them some food. You hold out your hand and give them some bread and they look up at you with huge, wide eyes as they take the bread from your hands. You watch them eat, and smile and a tear rolls down your face as they thank you. You wish you could take them home and feed them every night – but you look down the street and there are more children, hungry and crouched down – and they need to be fed too. …This is just one minute scenario of billions that exist in our human lives… That child is real – one of so many…and a reason WHY its IMPORTANT to CHANGE. Because your love, your life, and your actions are needed to be of service in SOME way or another. And if you can’t be bothered to take action on yourself because its easy for you to look the other way and continue down that grey road – you will surely regret it, one day.
So everybody – don’t be lazy. Don’t look the other way. Don’t just accept your character flaws and resulting actions. Change them and change your heart – because the more you do – the more you will discover what love really means – not the kind of love that is for show – but the kind that can genuinely serve. and be able to show itself to others who really need it. Don’t give up on yourself. Its not easy, but you can change anything about yourself if you choose to believe the truth of possibility rather than the lie of complacency…and see what happens.
Video for the song here if you’d like a reference for why I felt compelled to write this post:
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