Don’t try to force anything.  Let life be a deep let-go.  See God opening millions of flowers every day without forcing the buds.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh


When we really understand the fact of separate realities, we will stop spending so much time and energy trying to change the reality of others.Jane Nelson


Being a good manager doesn't mean managing someone else's life!

Some of us sharing these meetings mistakenly thought we were supposed to manage everyone and everything. We managed children and spouses, and when we could, neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And we saw our ability to manage other people's lives as proof of our worthiness. Letting others manage themselves, however, is the real asset, and working on its development takes perseverance.

The appeal of managing others is clearly to protect ourselves. When we can't count on them to do what we want, without our input, then we must get involved. Unfortunately, over the years, many people let us manage them. Oftentimes their alcoholism or other drug dependence opened the door to us. We took this as a sign that we were needed. Learning now that we are needed, but not to manage others, is a challenging lesson.

I won't manage others' lives today. I can offer suggestions to others, if asked, but I will only manage myself.

A Life of My Own by Karen Casey ©1993

Were we ever told that our problems with other people really started within ourselves? If we have trouble getting along with another person, for example, is it because we are projecting missed signals of fear and suspicion toward that person? We tend to reap what we sow—we get back the attitudes we project.

At the same time, however, we can't take total responsibility for the way others treat us or behave toward us. We cannot reform or control impossible people. When dealing with impossible people, we have control over our own feelings and responses. This helps us avoid potential trouble and enables us to deal with difficult situations.

But the principle of sowing what we reap—that is, getting back what we project—can really be proved by the person whose resentments and bitterness have driven away most of his or her friends. A simple change of attitude on our part can bring startling change for the better in the responses of others. With practice, the principle also applies to the broad area of human relations in many ways. For purposes of inventory, therefore, we should always look first at ourselves and our own thoughts and feelings when we find ourselves in a bad situation with others.

I will take care today to see that my thoughts and feelings toward others reflect what I want in my own life. I cannot expect to harbor secret resentments without getting some of my own back.

Walk in Dry Places by Mel B. ©1996

But where was I to start? The world is so vast, I shall start with the country I knew best, my own. But my country is so very large. I had better start with my town. But my town, too, is large. I had best start with my street. No, my home. No, my family. Never mind, I shall start with myself.

Elie Wiesel

How many times have we tried to change things outside of ourselves, like a parent, a loved one, a drinking or drug-using pattern, or a boss? Perhaps we felt if we changed someone or something, we would be better off. But we soon discovered we were powerless to change people, places, or things.

All we can change is ourselves. Yet we can't do that by five-minute overhauls. Nor can we go to bed at night and expect to wake up the next day as the person we always wanted to be.

We need to keep it simple as we change ourselves. We need to start slowly. If we imagine ourselves as a big puzzle with many pieces, we may understand we can only see our whole selves by joining together one piece at a time.

Did I try to change others today? How can I keep it simple as I try to change myself—just a little bit at a time?

Night Light by Amy E. Dean ©1986