In order for us to change things in our lives, we need to have a reason to do so. I don't know anybody that would start out driving to a detestation and suddenly, without reason, turn around halfway. That would be the worst character ever added to a story. The audience would object and say, "But why?"
The same is true in our lives. Nobody makes a drastic, or even a slight change, without a reason. Maybe that person gained new knowledge, maybe they woke up to the facts that have always been there, or maybe they've become brainwashed. (That last one is a little drastic, maybe even a little dark, but I thought I'd throw it in for any conspiracy theorists.)
In the past, I would uncover some information and the first thing I would do is share the information with lots of people. Often times, after I shared the exciting information, I'd become totally bummed out. Mostly because that person didn't find the information as fascinating as I did. Why is this? Why can I read something and (insert whomever I told) finds it less enlightening or vise versa? Why is it that I feel like I've pulled back the curtain and revealed the wizard but others shrugged with a meh face?
I'm pretty sure it has something to do with our brain's programming. Someone told me once that when you decide to believe something, no matter if it is true or false, your brain will work to solidify that information in your mind. Your mind will protect, your truth. So if you believe that it is wrong to kill people, your brain will cling to any information or evidence that supports this belief. Likewise, if you believe it is right to kill people, your brain will cling to any information or evidence that supports this belief. (For example, Thanos in Infinity Wars believed wiping out half of all life was perfectly fine and his mind had rationalized why it was fine. This is a fictional example but the same is true in real life.)
There are many beliefs that people solidify that are very different from the beliefs of others. People believe it is wrong to eat animals, people believe it is right. People believe in God, people don't. People think having kids is great, people believe that's insanity in it's finest form.
I'm not going to tell you what I believe and ask you to change or conform to it. If you read that last paragraph you already know that'd be a waste of my time. You're going to believe what you want to believe. But today, I'd like to challenge you to think about why you believe what you believe, why you do things the way that you do them. Who told you that was the way to do it? Have you ever questioned why?
I recall a story about a husband that was helping his wife cook. She told him to cut off both ends of the ham before putting it into the casserole dish. The husband, out of curiosity, asked why this was part of the recipe. The wife wasn't sure. That was how her mom always cooked ham so that is how she cooked her ham. She called her mother who also didn't have a reason as to why this was done. It was simply how her mother had taught her. So they called the grandmother to find out the reasoning. The grandmother said that she only had one dish that would fit in her tiny oven. That dish required her to cut off the ends of the ham. Her daughter and granddaughter had established this practice as their truth on how to cook a ham. The practice was irrelevant with their larger dishes and ovens but they had no idea because they were set in a pattern of motions when it came to cooking ham.
Don't go crazy, find three simple things in your life and ask yourself the question, why. Why do you use the shampoo you use? Why haven't you got rid of that coat you only wore once six years ago? Why do you have more pots and pans than you would ever need to cook a meal with? Why must you clean your plate of all the food every time you eat? Why do you refuse to get rid of your larger clothes once you've lost weight or your smaller clothes once you've gained weight?
We cannot allow ourselves to be open to change until we first recognize why we choose to do the things we do, or don't do.
My three things?
Find a reason to be the change
Nicole Donoho, owner of Teddyfly LLC, enjoys writing stories for all ages. She currently lives in Northwest Arkansas where she takes in the beauty of the Natural State with her husband, Jacob, and their three sons-Elijah, Josiah, and Solomon. "Seeking Change" is a blog about her daily adventures with change in her life and the world around her.
Do you ever get some really big ideas that ignite inside you? Maybe you hear about a cause and you want to do something to help but suddenly your lack of knowledge, resources, finances stamps out the flame before it ever has a chance to grow? I've had a lot of those moments.
I hear about homeless families and suddenly I want to purchase a hotel and convert it into a transitional living space to help families get back on their feet. I hear about garbage ruining the natural beauty of our planet and I want to start petitions to ban all the plastic bags in our state. (Okay, maybe this one is within my grasp.) I hear about orphan children and I want to take some in because I know how much having caring parents shaped my life.
Why is it that we all want to change the world but the majority of us back down before we even start? Is it because the task is truly too big for us, or is it because we're looking at it with the wrong approach?
A few weeks ago, my oldest son, Elijah, was telling me that everything we recycle doesn't always get recycled. Some of the items that we put in our recycling bin actually wind up in the trash once they get to the recycling plant. Because he has amazing timing, he decided to share this information with me while I was struggling to wash out the last of the peanut butter before recycling its plastic jar.
I'm sure there was an eye roll and a deep sigh of frustration on my part as I asked nobody in particular what the point of scrubbing out and recycling the plastic was if it might not even be recycled.
To which, he so graciously inserted his 11-year-old wisdom with the response, "Well, at least you're trying."
Again I ask, are the problems of this world truly too big for us to solve, or is it that we're looking at them with the wrong approach? Instead of feeling overwhelmed by those really big ideas that ignite inside of us maybe, just maybe, we need to pursue them one action at a time. It's possible that my actions won't change the world as a whole but they do have the power to change somebody's world.
One is always more than none. Be the change you want to see.
Nicole Donoho, owner of Teddyfly LLC, enjoys writing stories for all ages. She currently lives in Northwest Arkansas where she takes in the beauty of the Natural State with her husband, Jacob, and their three sons-Elijah, Josiah, and Solomon.
In 2015, my husband and I moved back to Northwest Arkansas. We had spent two years living in Florida while he attended school at MMI in Orlando. Both of us were raised in the Christian faith, so finding a church to attend once we moved was a big deal. We visited a few churches when we first got back to Arkansas but we couldn't seem to find what we were looking for. We dabbled in seeking God over the matter. I say 'dabbled' because honestly we just wanted our Florida church family to be uprooted and replanted in Arkansas to make life easier on us. Our complaint, we couldn't find what we were looking for.
That's when God told us, "Be the change you want to see." We threw out our expectations, okay maybe not entirely. But we set them aside asking God to help us with whatever that 'be the change' commission meant.
It's easy for us, like all humans, to look at everything that needs to change around us instead of looking at what needs to change inside of us. In 2017, we walked into a church and found ourselves surrounded by t-shirts that said "Be the change you want to see in the world".
Isn't it funny how God can speak volumes in the smallest of things?
Today, I would encourage you to take a quiet moment and be honest with yourself- what areas of your life are you longing for change? Are you holding yourself back? Are you allowing yourself to be held back by others?
There are some changes in life that happen in an instant but most changes happen over a long period of time. Especially the changes that affect how we view the world around us. Don't wait to find the right person, the right place, the right opportunity...today, choose to be the change you want to see.
Nicole Donoho, owner of Teddyfly LLC, enjoys writing stories for all ages. She currently lives in Northwest Arkansas where she takes in the beauty of the natural state with her husband, Jacob, and their three sons-Elijah, Josiah, and Solomon.