Funny how life changes when you get a clearer picture of yourself. The fact of it is, people are little more than mirrors that reflect what you are in their life as you pass through their lives. If I am messy, everyone around me seems messy. If I am rude, all those around me seem rude. If I am impatient, those around me seem to be pushy and keep shoving me around. If I am selfish, others are always wanting to have things their way. If I am dumb, the whole world seems dumb. If I have the smart-offs, everyone seems sassy. When I cheat and lie, I get the feeling that you can’t trust anybody. When I don’t like myself, I just can’t believe that other people could like me, much less could ever love me. So begin looking at your self in the nearest mirror and say, “Hey, I’ve located part of the problem, and IT’S ME”.
No sin or blame or fault is to be assigned, just a beginning recognition that “I’m no bargain to live with either!” Wonder how Mom and Dad would change if I were neat and tidy instead of sloppy and messy? I wonder how my teacher would be if I were kind and courteous instead of being rude and boisterous? I wonder how thoughtful and kind hearted others would be toward me if I were not so impatient and pushy? Sure makes me stop and wonder what my family would be like if I could be more generous and less self-centered? What would happen if I quit lying or cheating or stealing! What would happen in my world around me if I cleaned up my act and started life anew? How would others see me then? Would they change, get off my case, cease to nag me, grip at me and quit trying to change me?
I believe down deep in you heart you know the answer, but you’re afraid to say it, speak it, verbalize it. It seems so much easier to blame others and to change only if they promise to change first – to stop arguing if they stop arguing. It seems easier to react to life rather than to take personal responsibility and act on my own. This way, others are to blame – not me! Others are at fault – not me! Others are responsible – NOT ME!
Let’s agree on one vital truth. It’s a known fact that you cannot change or alter or redirect the lives of others, and in this life, we alone, by God’s grace can CHANGE OURSELVES. Just step up to the counter and declare “I’m next!” The first move in controlling parents and those around you is taking full responsibility for your own actions. All the griping, nagging, fussing, arguing, belly-aching and back-biting in the world WON’T CHANGE YOU!”
It always begins when I (me, myself and I) am willing to boldly and honestly admit that “I’m no bargain t live with either!” My thoughts often conflict with others, my desires differ with those about me, and even my morals and feelings of what’s right and what’s wrong become shifty at times. Conflicts will come; they’re inevitable, because you’re growing up at home. It just boils down to the old ‘give and take’ game. Since the teen age years are the most self-centered years of life, it stands to reason that they will be the toughest and most difficult.
Begin controlling your parents in reverse by taking a close look, a ‘you-review’ of self. This first step is a foundation step. Don’t ignore it or side-step it. Use it as a step upward and in review, you will begin to have more understanding and sympathy toward your parents and others around you. Your level of warmth will increase and the change in your life cause others to see you differently.
Don’t be greedy. Change will not happen in a day or a week or so. It will take time. Remember the T.C. principle – THINGS CHANGE! If I know most Mom’s and Dad’s, at first, they will be a little skeptical. Remember all the times you told them you would go straight – live right? Now they need a little time. In reality, you need a little time – time to allow new attitudes to take root – new goals to be realized and frankly you just need the time it takes to change.
Paul admonishes his young son in the faith, Timothy, “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; for in doing this, you will save yourself and those that hear you” (I Timothy 4:15-16). King Solomon wrote, “Remember now your creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come , and the years draw near when you say, I have no pleasure in them . . . Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:1-2;13).
Discouragement will be your greatest adversary. Expect a slight mistake or bobble here or there. Give the process time. Exercise patience – strive for consistency. Things change – people change – you change – that’s victory.