Am I the only person who can change me?

Contribution by Isabel Hernández Negrín, Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain.

Yes, of course.

We do not change because other people want us to, nor by reading lots of books on the subject, nor by going to courses expecting a miracle.  Only I can bring about the change.

However, I believe that it is necessary to touch on one point: the desire to change.  It is necessary to be clear about the difference between a change that is produced spontaneously when I understand myself in depth and a desire for change.  The desire to change something in me, implies that there is something in me that I do not like, or rather that I reject, and I am the one I am rejecting.  When my attitude is that of resistance, and not of acceptance, there are tensions, or contradictions or unease.  And it is these that I want to get rid of.  A real change cannot be in order to get rid of anything, and still less, to get rid of myself.

An example: when there is damp on a wall in your house, it is no use just covering over the inner wall by putting up some stone or nice tiles. 

The damp will continue to be there behind and will shortly reappear.

We need to see where the damp comes from and be patient and investigate, without getting worked up, until we find the cause of the damp. 

Then it will become clear what you need to do and the damp will disappear.  The change that you wanted will take place and not in a superficial way.  You had to do some preparatory work and the change appeared as the result of this work.  If something changes in you it must be the result of serious engagement on your part.  The process means that you must pay attention deliberately to what you feel or think and what causes you malaise.  The attitude that will help you to know yourself more thoroughly is not to judge or censure what you observe inside you, but to welcome and share in what you feel and think without wanting to change anything.  Like an impartial witness who always investigates things with curiosity.  Yes, you are the only one who can do this.  If you do it with the right attitude, maybe, the change will come about.  But do not pursue change.  Just observe whether what you think or what you believe are causing you unnecessary tension.

You can do it, if you are clear about your intentions.