How do I help someone I want to change?

I posted this article originally on August 28/2005 on the old site

I just received this article in a newsletter from Christopher Walker of and had to share it.

I have learned that you can’t change others, the only person you can change is yourself and when you change the world around you will change. It is that simple.

“How do you talk to someone who won’t talk to you?
How do you communicate with someone who won’t communicate with you?
How do you change the world? Ignore them is the answer. But not reject them. Love them absolutely as a reflection of you.
Smile at the recognition of yourself in them.
Stop trying to control the universe. Smile at the fact that they are really just a mirror of the part of you that you are keeping secret. Their game of war is about attention instead of love. You can’t win a war of the mind. Some one always has another answer or question to trick you.

photo: Marlies Cohen 2010

photo: Marlies Cohen 2010

Once there was a lady in a workshop who hit me on the face because I asked her why she was jealous of the wife of her lover (he was married).

She hit me hard on the face. I just picked my self up and turned back to her and carried on as if nothing had happened. Loving her. She stormed out of the room. I said to everyone in the room “do not chase her. Do not try to fix her. She just expressed a part of us all. And the question is do you own that part of yourself? Do you own the part of you that would love to smash some bastard Who triggers you. Or are you trying to be somebody you read about in a book, some person you heard about in some spiritual or religious workshop?” And they all shut up and went really silent and I said “that part of you is worthy of love”

The greatest sin we can commit is trying to be something or someone we are not. That is so common. The masses love to conform. Some people become Hare Krishna’s and don’t eat meat because Hare Krishna told them. They are liars. Living someone else’s ideas like a trained animal in a circus. Trying to be good according to some idea. They are liars, and when you see them you can smile in recognition at the liar in you, trying to be something you are not. Reacting to the world, seeking role models, lacking authenticity.

15 minutes later that lady who hit me came back in the workshop, and cried “that’s the first time in my life that I have reacted with anger and no one has tried to fix me. I didn’t know how to react out there. I was waiting for you to come out. But all I felt was love from you. So I came back. I really think I am ready now to finish the questions”

Love is not action like everyone thinks it is. Love is a space. It’s not a home or a cooking. No those things are how we use to apologize for the inadequacy of our love. That’s how we try to make up for what feels so inadequate. But those substitutes are pathetic really. If you can’t stop and recognize your love for people, the house is just a jail.

Love is simply a space in which you are you and they are you.

And with a shrug of the shoulders you simply get on with it. The feeling of love is just recognition. Then you can leave things alone and stop apologizing for your performance. You can be hard or even draw boundary for your children or parents because you can stop apologizing for the inadequacy of your love. Simply recognize yourself in them without a positive or negative feeling.

Love is no big deal. It’s simply recognition. When you recognize yourself in someone you can stop dealing with them and now it’s all up to you. If there’s any adjustments to do, they are about you, not them.
Then you can smile about how normal you and everything is. It’s a space, the love where you just leave things alone, and stop trying to change them.
There’s nothing to change.
Just someone to love.
And that someone is you.”

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