At one time, I believed I had the power to change the world. I was pretty full of myself. Some called me a leader, my sisters called me “bossy.” It’s true. As the eldest of three, “Dad left me in charge. You have to do as I say!” My sisters just laughed in my face. Much later, I was a high school youth minister for over 16 years. “What are you taking about?” I would ask. “Oh, you wouldn’t like it, Ms. It’s not appropriate. You don’t want to know.” But it’s ok for them to talk about it? I was older than their parents and they were protecting me from inappropriate??
And then there are all the young adults I brought home to live with us. I thought I could influence them to get college degrees and stay away from toxic relationships and situations, but I was wrong. They rarely followed my advice. A few of them ended up doing pretty well for themselves and a few have really struggled. One is still addicted to drugs and one is now dead. So, have I done anything to change the world? It doesn’t seem like it.
I finally came to the realization that I cannot change other people but I can change myself. My husband tells me that is a huge credit to me, that I can look at myself, recognize my flaws, and put in the work to become my best version of myself. Well, it was either me or all the psychological books he kept leaving with me in the early stages of our dating life. It’s a wonder I ever agreed to another date! Even several years into our marriage, I caught sight of a book on his nightstand titled, “Flawless: The Ten Most Common Character Flaws.” Angrily, I snapped “Did you buy that for me?” “No!” He replied. “I bought it for me….,” then under his breath, “so I could learn to deal with you.” It’s funny now but at that time, I wasn’t laughing. I waited until he left town to read the book and it is now one of my favorite books. Yep, I had a solid 8 out of the 10.
So, that’s my plan. I’m changing myself and hoping that somehow transcends into making the world a better place.