Here's a post I put up a few years ago that came to my attention this morning. It was written shortly after the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in July of 2010.
Thought it might be an interesting look back:
"PREACHING TO THE CHOIR IS THE ONLY WAY!"
This is hopefully a relevant post in trying to understanding what the reactions will be, or in some cases won't be, in response to the current disaster caused by the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It's starting to look like an unprecedented catastrophe, cause by gross criminal negligence, but mark this:
No one will willingly change their actions or opinions as a result of any criticism or outcry at this unmitigated blight on our beautiful earth.
No one. No one ever changes because someone else wants them to. I repeat - no one.
However, that doesn't mean we are all going to suffer and participate in these continuous calamities equally as a result of those who are immovable and recalcitrant. Not at all. It just means that those who are dedicated to evolving their consciousnesses are going to make a quantum shift out of this particular line of reality, leaving behind those who still wish to experience greed and avarice, envy and competitiveness, violence and corruption, those, in other words, who are still practicing and indulging in psychopathy.
Evolution takes place in quick bursts of energy - waves - in which some are swept forward to a new place, and some, those who resist change at all costs, are slammed. I know that sounds cold, but the Universe is actually quite neutral when it comes to our notions of pain and suffering that, ultimately, we choose to experience.
The implication here, of course, is that there are many different lines of reality, parallel realities, as it were, and that at some level, we are all choosing which ones to engage in. This is true. The 2012 that many fear - a time of apocalyptic destruction - will indeed be experienced by those who vibrate energetically at that level with those scenarios, while for others, the shifts of 2012 will be joyful ones, falling in love, awakening to greater levels of expansion and creativity and abundance, discovering the vastness of the universe, etc.
The rest here is from my older post -
Here's something I've learned and witnessed after thirty years of observing people and working with their inner lives:
You can't change anybody.
People spend years, decades even, trying to get another person to transform and - get this - it never works! Never.
I'm a psychotherapist. Theoretically, my job is to help people change their lives, but guess what? If my patients don't really want to change, on their own, for themselves, there's nothing I can do.
And there's nothing you can do.
Your lover might stop drinking or gambling for a while for fear of your leaving, or your parents might admit they weren't perfect in raising you; you might even get your spouse to agree to couples' counseling. But unless the person's motivation to change is personal and separate from you, the results will always be the same - no significant change.
Why is this important to know? Because one of the most insidious causes of pain and paralysis in a person's life is their persistent efforts to try and get a spouse or parent or significant other to change. Therefore, knowing that you are doomed to failure when trying to get someone else to change will ultimately set you free.
And it should be that way.
The hallmark of adulthood is that you get to do whatever you want. You have the free adult will to direct your own course, even if you choose a path of self-destruction. It has to be this way. We can only grow and evolve as individual souls and as a race of beings, by exploring different choices and their consequences.
But why would someone waste themselves trying so hard to get someone else to do what they want them to do? Because that person hasn't yet faced and accepted the painful futility of their childhoods. Someone once said this: "Childhood was a game - and you lost!"
Sounds harsh, but think about it. We are all born completely helpless and dependent - unable to move, to feed ourselves, or to make any sense at all of our surroundings. On top of which, if our parents don't love us enough, we die emotionally and psychologically. Our lives, for the better part of the first dozen years, depend upon the good graces and self-actualization of our parents.
Get it? We're born screwed. (Unless, of course, you were born to a set of healthy, happy, sexually vibrant, emotionally open parents, free from any erroneous beliefs about themselves or life. Please contact me if you had such parents.) And since our survival instinct cannot allow us to accept being screwed, we set about trying to get the parents we are dependent on to become better at their job of loving and rearing us. We try being pleasing and cute, or smart and hard-working; we smile at the right moments, eat our spinach, take piano lessons or gymnastics, anything that might get them to see us positively and be more sensitive to our true needs. If that doesn't work, we try being sad or depressed, acting out in school, eating too much or not eating at all, anything to evoke their sympathy towards us and our desperate plight.
Still doesn't work? We start the process of transference in which we look to another as a parent substitute to come through for us and change for our sake. Problem with that approach is that in this common attempt to resolve our childhood dilemma, we first have to repeat it, set it up again, by choosing a partner who is as narcissistic or oblivious as our parents were. And we're off.
Why wouldn't we just choose someone who is already ready, willing and able to meet our unmet needs from childhood, rather than someone we need to change? Because that person doesn't exist. The game of childhood is already over when you reach adulthood. The ship has sunk. Attempting to reclaim your childhood by getting a parent substitute to come through for you is like watching the movie "Titanic" over and over hoping that if you watch it enough times, one time, the ship will miss the iceberg.
But... here's the good news - yes, there is good news! If you give up on your childhood, if you take the loss, you do get a do-over, but not as a child, as an adult. You can be free to heal yourself, become self-actualized and choose to share yourself with another who is doing the same. You won't feel the need to change the other person; you will instead seek to share with that person your own desire to change and grow. You will, in other words, be preaching to the choir because members of the choir are the only ones who can listen to your experiences with similar understanding. Members of the choir share your desire for growth and change, because of their own internal motivation to do so, and if you have a piece of information about how to do it better, they will receive it gladly. That is how relationships that work - work. That is how therapy works, when it works. The therapist is a mirror and facilitator of what the patient is already intent on seeing and doing.
So, take heart, folks. Life works. Give up what has to be given up, and if you're motivated to do so, change yourself and join the choir.