What I said never changed anybody; what they understood did.
How often have we given our all to change somebody else? How frantically have we tried to force a loved one to see the light? How hopelessly have we watched a destructive pattern - perhaps a pattern we know well from personal experience - bring terrible pain to someone who is dear to us?
All of us have.
We would do anything to save the people we love. In our desperation, we imagine that if we say just the right words in just the right way, our loved ones will understand.
If change happens, we think our efforts have succeeded.
If change doesn't happen, we think our efforts have failed. But neither is true. Even our best efforts don't have the power to change someone else. Nor do we have that responsibility. People are only persuaded by what they understand. And they, as we, can understand a deeper truth only when it is their time to grow toward deeper understanding. Not before.
Today, I will focus on changing myself and entrust those I love to the Higher Power who loves them even more than I do.
You are reading from the book:
Days of Healing, Days of Joy by Earnie Larsen and Carol Larsen Hegarty. © 1987, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the permission of Hazelden.