How do we get someone we love to change or to be happy?

“If you make friends with yourself,
you will never be alone.”
Maxwell Maltz

Stop caring!  Yes, stop caring.  I just read an article by Martha Beck in Oprah’s magazine that said just this.  What happens when we care too much?  We may judge, criticize, worry, blame, feel sad or anxious about their situation, have attachment to an outcome that we want, and on and on.  Is any of this saying I love you unconditionally?  Is this saying I love and accept you just the way you are?
Most of my life I have spent trying to change my loved ones. I remember real battles with my mother.  She was trying to control me with silly things like not letting me wear hair curlers in public or go barefoot as a teenager.  It just made me want to do it more.  In return, I learned to want my loved ones to act and be just like I wanted them to be.  It started with my parents, then my younger sister and then my ex-husband to name a few.   And what did I get in return, usually more of what I didn’t want and less of a good relationship!

Our brains are wired on an emotional level to mirror one another.  So if we are controlling, anxious or fearful, we get back what we give.  Can you see how all of this comes from caring too much and being in someone else’s space instead of our own?

For the last few months, I have been given opportunities to practice letting go and not really caring what my loved ones did or didn’t do, whether they were happy or not.  This certainly doesn’t mean I stopped loving them.  Actually, I focused on loving them even more.  I didn’t want to change anything about them or their situations.  I just gave them total love and acceptance.  My job was to work on my own happiness regardless if they were happy or not.

Now I finally know how beautifully this actually works.  I gave them the space and support to figure things out themselves.  They relaxed and mirrored back to me feeling better in whatever way they chose.

As I tell my clients, we have more than enough to do by just doing our best to control ourselves.  Being in charge of our own emotions, fears, anxiety, and perceptions is a full time job.  And let’s face it, what anyone truly wants is to be totally accepted just as they are.  This allows them to relax and work things out in their own way and own time feeling fully supported, and in a way that more than likely will be far better than anything we could ever have orchestrated.

Cheers to you!

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