I have been a bit obsessed with John Mayer for awhile now, but most recently it has intensified because I got to see him in concert last week, a surprise from my beloved. So, even though this post is not strictly about John Mayer, I used this particular song title to write my thoughts for today.
I have been spending the majority of my adulthood focusing on what other people around me need to do to change. Even though at first glance, I led myself to believe that their changing was what was in their own best interest, the bottom line was that it was my agenda. I wanted that person to change, to benefit me in some way. Those benefits were not always cut and dry; sometimes, I would want them to change to make it easier for me to not have to confront being unhappy in a relationship. Sometimes, I would want them to change so I could keep looking good in my own eyes. No matter what, the focus was often on the other person, and not myself.
Today, I tend to spend less time focusing on other people changing for my benefit. Yet, it still comes up, usually most often with those people that I demanded the change with most often in the past. And, the kicker is, if I still have an expectation for the other person to change, and they do things in the same old way, I immediately have a response to cut them to shreds.
My best, worst example came again this week, with my ex partner, who I know is my biggest opportunity to learn this lesson fully. We go through times of getting along poorly; then getting along well; and most recently, when it is somewhat neutral most of the time. I want us to have this happy, balanced friendship, that is based in not only coparenting our daughter that we share, but also as former partners who still love and respect one another.
When we hit a rough patch, and she responds to me in a mistrusting way, my first thought is to judge her, then want to change her, and to curse her for not “evolving”. It is a sick cycle that I am in with her much of the time. So, this week, she expressed mistrust in my actions, I immediately defended, in almost an obsessive way, and then, I told a story in my head of how I will not make any attempts to connect with her anymore.
Then, two days later, I asked her to have dinner with us.
My human mind and heart is complex at best, and frustrating as hell at its worst. In this moment today, I want to set my sights on two goals: to stop waiting on those persons in my world to change, because I DON’T know what is best for them; and, to stop JUDGING them and myself for not getting it exactly right all the time.
I know that I am evolving, as she is, as everyone is. I am changing in this moment as I write this, and I will continue to do so, as will she, our daughter, and everyone else who reads this and beyond. The trick for me, is to see the changes and keep using them to grow.
This is a neverending story.
Photos courtesy of my IPhone; taken of John Mayer’s two most recent CD releases, Born and Raised, and Paradise Valley. vlw