Be the change you want to see.
When we are in situations that are making us unhappy it is easy to look for the fault in other people. We might not like ourselves for doing it. We may be aware that it exacerbates any already-existing unhappiness when we complain about others or our environment. But it can, nevertheless, be a hard habit to break.
Earlier this week I read a quote: be the change you want to see. I like it a lot. It reminds me that I have influence on a situation. It encourages me to have empathy for others. How can I ask them to make changes if I am unable to enact them myself?
It is a simple phrase, easy to recall in those moments when you can feel yourself slipping into a version of yourself that you perhaps don’t want to project into the world. But, importantly, this is not about hiding unhappiness or masking it. It is about living the change in a way that is kind and self-compassionate. If we do slip into a version of ourselves that we don’t like very much, we show ourselves empathy. We don’t punish ourselves for being less than perfect. We treat ourselves with understanding, a little gentle care and forgiveness. We are okay and we can move on. We can be, in the next moment, the change we want to see.