Inquiry: Trying to change is better than leaving

Trying to change it (the situation) is better than leaving.

When that is a belief, there is a lack of receptivity:

It is always better to change the situation than to leave. I will stay no matter what, because it is better to try to change it.

There can be an arrogance in that belief as well:

I can do it. I can change it according to my own ideas. I can make it better, according to what I think is better.

And when it involves someone else. 

I know what is better, just listen to me. We’ll change it this way, according to what I think is better. I want you to change this way, no matter what you want. (That belief can be there even if I appear to listen to the other.)

I can become a change-Nazi.


Trying to change the situation is (always) better than leaving.

  1. True?
    Yes. This one generally feels true for me. If I am in a situation that doesn’t seem quite right, I will tend to try to change it rather than leaving. (Although I have learned to leave in some situations, such as if I sit close to someone unusually noisy at the train and I try to sleep or read!)
  2. Sure?
    No. This too is just an opinion. It comes from my culture and subcultures.
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?
    • I stay and try to make something work even if it doesn’t quite work. I try to change it. I work on myself and my relation to it, the situation itself, and if another person is involved and it seems appropriate, I see if that person want to take part in it.
    • I stay even if I see that leaving would make things much easier for me, and sometimes for others as well.
    • I tell myself I will get something out of the experience, that I will learn and grown, and that makes it worth it.
    • I endure discomfort. I sometimes endure my heart/intuition pointing to leaving. I sometimes ignore or overlook when leaving seems a more wise, kind and mature choice.
  4. Who would I be without it?
    • Open to leaving or trying to change the situation. Either one is fine. Either one is just a strategy or a tool, they have no value in themselves.
    • More free to listen to what seems more wise, kind and mature to me, whether it involves leaving, trying to change the situation, or something else. Free from being bound by the initial belief.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • Trying to change the situation is (sometimes) worse than leaving
      • It can be. It can prolong something that is not working very well.
      • It can make the situation more convoluted.
      • It can come from shoulds, which means lack of receptivity to what is there.
    • Trying to not change the situation is (sometimes) better than leaving
      • Sometimes, it can be good to wait. See what happens. See what unfolds.
      • Also, if the attempt to change comes from a should, it can be good to notice, let it be, and see if there are other impulses that are more honest and where they want to go.
    • Leaving is (sometimes) better than trying to change the situation
      • Sometimes, it is good to acknowledge when I am in over my head. When I don’t (yet) have the skills, maturity, insight, wisdom, kindness needed to work with the situation skillfully. In those situations, it may be better to leave, to leave the situation as is and take myself out of it.
      • Something may appear more important than working with a certain situation. Something else takes priority there and then, and that is OK. If the potential lesson/learning is important, life is likely to bring it up again. (Said differently, if there is a knot there or unexplored territory, life – going about its own business – will tend to bring it up again, simply because it is so rich.)

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