It is easy to mistakenly focus our energy into trying to change things we cannot change. We would like our partner to behave in a different way, we would like a certain person to feel a specific way about us, a certain friend to apologise to us, the economy to be better, we would like the weather to be better. All these things are absolutely out of our control. Putting our energy into trying to change them will just drain us of all our energy and bring zero change.
Funny enough, when it comes to start changing the things we can actually change, we are already out of energy.
We cannot change the weather. We cannot change the world’s economy nor other people’s thoughts about us. But we can change our behaviour, our thoughts, our decisions. So why we don’t always do it, focusing on trying to change others instead?
My personal answer is that we do it out of fear. We avoid trying to change things we can change because if we fail it’s all down to us, there is no one else to blame. And this is damn scary.
Another reason we subconsciously focus on the wrong things, is that what we can change is inside our heart, that pot of gold is inside ourselves, and no one else is in there but us. So to act on ourselves feels lonely for a while. When we keep focusing on changing others, at least we have company. Funny, right?
If you’ve read Harry Potter, you’ll remember that only Harry can see what’s in the magic mirror that shows his deepest desires, no one else can see what he sees. That’s something that we cannot share and it makes us face our loneliness as human beings.
So yep, it’s hard to define what we really want, and to put our energies into getting it.
It’s even harder to let go of what we cannot change.
Then I magically stumbled upon this prayer, and it became my mantra when I struggle to letting go:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference