We mostly do not change even if we want to. This is so well known in the healing trades that policy is made on that opinion. Most of us most of the time end up doing the same old no matter what. We recognize each other after years not only because we so often look like ourselves but we act that way too.
There are other outcomes, other people, however, people who can and do change. First obvious clue - actors can successfully play their body and character as a tool for a role. They not only gain and lose weight at will but they change the way they emote, they way they speak, the way they use their bodies to communicate, knowing what they do as they change and what they do when they have changed. It can be disconcerting if you ever have the chance to know one of these people because they can after a time slip in and out of roles really easily. Con men do this too, so it comes as no surprise that this might be spooky to some folk.
Under the right circumstance many of us may be able to make basic changes if we are given the right push, the right pressure. AA has a slightly better than 20% rate of changing drunks into sober alcoholics. Nobody has a better record. The road is rocky too. Most get drunk after starting in AA at least once, some many times. This is a remark to the seriousness of compulsion and addiction, but it is also a remark to the simple truth that most of us just don't change even when we recognize a dire need.
The AA solution involves a Higher Power. This is a recognition that we need power we don't have in order to change and as well a place to stand outside ourselves to wield that power. That is what makes the difference, a power we don't have within us until we open to it, and as well a new place to stand in order to use it.
Give Me New Wind
The divide between
us, the gap that shows sometimes
when you dive into
the joys that raise you -
you swing them like your children
before my gray shadow,
this gap is my call
to God to change my old shape
and give me new wind.
June 12, 2009 12:29 PM