It’s a cool autumn morning in the Oregon forestlands. The wandering dirt trail, towering evergreens, and lush ferns create a Pintrest-ready image of serenity.
Now insert the addition of a five-year-old whining, “I hate this!”
She’s so irritated and unhappy to be hiking and carrying her backpack that she slumps over, ready to collapse into the dirt with disgust. “Why do we have to be here? This is so boring!”
This was our family hike.
Much like a movie, there’s a scene, a plot, and characters.
On this day, my five-year-old, Olivia, was playing the role of COMPLAINER (at least in my head she was).
I was not digging the role she was playing.
It was irritating and, at times, I felt like I couldn’t deal with it!
ALL I wanted was for her to STOP playing that role. Stop complaining! Stop whining! Enjoy the beauty, dammit!
Simply put, I thought, “If you’d just change, I could be happy.”
Do you ever think that about someone in your life?
If you’d just BE HAPPY, then I could be happy.
If you’d STOP being an asshole, then I wouldn’t get so defensive.
If you’d STOP saying these things, I wouldn’t worry so much.
Demanding that someone else change for you to feel better is a battle you will lose every time.
IT’S NOT THEIR JOB TO CHANGE — IT’S YOURS.
You create your own reality and YOU are the DIRECTOR of your life.
Rather than trying to force your characters to change, try to appreciate the role they’re playing in your life right now like it’s rigged in your favor.
In my case, I appreciated Olivia’s UNWILLINGNESS to just do what others wanted her to do! I’m coaching my clients to re-learn this nowadays, so I thought, “own that, girl!”
I also appreciated how, as the “complainer,” Olivia was helping me practice finding peace regardless of circumstances.
Then, I appreciated her helping me change up my workout because I ended up carrying the 45-lb girl on my back for a mile and half.
Seeing her differently didn’t necessarily change HER or her behavior, but it changed ME.
And when I changed, my whole experience changed.
No matter who it is in your life, or what role they’re playing, don’t demand that they change so that you can deal.
See what happens if you even appreciate the role they’re playing right now.