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For change, you must first change

July 8, 2012

I believe it was Albert Einstein who wrote: “You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”

Makes sense to me.  If only the over-worked and under-nourished mind I am strapped with could always remember that this is as simple a solution as one can ask for.  I forge ahead towards this line of thinking in my daily life, but I do not always achieve the success that I would like.  Unfortunately,  emotional responses sometimes have a tendency to override the practical thought process my stop, smile and breathe philosophy prescribes to practice.

Fortunately, as I always strive to remind myself, I do have solutions.  I always have solutions.  In fact, for the most part, I have learned that most (if not all) of what appears to be a problem is built solely out of the emotional part of my brain… when it is over-tired and in need of (aforementioned) practical nourishment.  When fear sets in and I can be suddenly thrust into the thought of losing something or not getting something I want.  This turns into control and then, once again, emotional responses predominantly inward but sometimes outward, that do not equate to the serenity I am able to achieve on the better parts of my day.

When this sort of activity occurs I am instantly of the mind that change is absolutely necessary.  A valid thought if not somewhat silly considering change is constant and inevitable.  I suppose the better description of these thoughts for me would be the types of change that would fall under the “major” category.  This is where I am going to pull a plug, make a move, or disappear.

These are threats that I have learned to avoid but, in the past,  I would not make without the process of stop. smile. breathe.

I used to be a runner.  If something was not working for me I was gone.  I don’t want to do this.  I can’t handle this.  I am being persecuted. I am not appreciated.  They don’t understand me.  He is not right for me.  I could go on with endless reasons where running was my answer.  Running was my way to stop the pain, the thinking, the fear, and the low self-esteem.  It meant that I would not work through whatever it was that I was facing.  Instead I would stuff it, hide it or simply ignore it.

The problem with that is it always returns.  The lesson is never learned by running.

So let’s say I honestly DO want to change something.  The serenity prayer reminds me to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  Now… I may be dealing with an alcoholic mind, but I do pride myself with a great amount of wisdom simply from the experience of living, not to mention the endless appetite to listen, learn, and keep an open mind.

With that wisdom comes the choice.  Do I make a change?  There really are no bad decisions (only the consequences that should be thought through.)  The answer I come up with is a resounding yes!  But the solutions that bring about that change must not be created with the same mind that may have “created” the situation in the first place.  It is imperative that I look within, look to what I have learned, look to the people I trust, and STOP.  From this surrender will come the answers that illustrate the change that I want to move forward with.

In the meantime:  Stop. Smile. Breathe.

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