Due to language constructs and concepts and how our brains create meaning of our experiences of the world around us, we tend to talk and even think in black and white extremist symbols.  We use words like ‘everything’, ‘nothing’, ‘always’, ‘never’ as if they actually exist while at the same time we can cite a handful of times in which those words don’t apply.  It’s all a construct of the mind that, while helping us make meaning of our world and navigate it, also can keep us caught and misdirect us, keeping us from moving in the right direction.

One of the ways this happens is when we talk about personal change.  There are a couple of extremes that come up right away.  One is that personal change is so difficult that it can’t be done, it’s overwhelming and takes an army, requires that we have some traumatic event or ‘hit bottom’ in order to even attempt it.  And yet we are changing daily without any real effort at all.  Every time we eat or breath we are changing as we intake new matter into our bodies and transmute it into something else we need to live.  Each day we get a bit older and our body changes in reaction to the experiences we’ve had, the energy and time expended, and just the fact that we’re moving through gravity.  Just think of getting a paper cut.  If we weren’t natural changers then that thing would bleed forever.  But it doesn’t.  We heal.  It’s hard wired into us to change.  The notion that we can’t or that it’s too hard, is an extremist concept we have in our heads. Try letting go of that and see what change would actually be like.  You might be surprised.

The other extreme view of personal change that is really common is that it makes no difference.  When we think if personal change as a means of changing the world around us in some significant way, we immediately go black and white, Universe and one small person, seeing ourselves as insignificant, seeing our actions as minimal and affecting nothing much, and seeing ourselves as irrelevant.  Or we compare our actions to someone famous, or powerful, again going to the extreme, and saying “I’m not that and that’s an example of a person whose personal change influences the world.”  But actual change doesn’t come from powerful people, it comes from THE People who agree to that change and act on it.  It comes from one person at a time making that change and sticking to it.  Which is why propaganda works. And brand awareness advertising.  And protests. And social media.  It’s not about one famous or rich person doing something, it’s about each individual doing that thing and others connected to them seeing it and then doing it, etc, etc, etc.  Because no one is an island, everything is connected, and each individual makes a difference.  What you do matters, not just to you, but to everyone around you.

So when people say “All  I Can Change Is Me”, that is true.  But thousands of me’s agreeing with that and then doing it, ignoring the extreme black and white view that it doesn’t matter what they do and changing themselves is too hard to undertake, well that, my friend is a force that can change the world.