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No one can change it but you!

These words echo in my mind like it was yesterday. I was living in the back of my little sign shop in a one room apartment with furniture that others were throwing away. Okay… it was a “hovel” dimly lit, mice-infested, and dirty.

A friend came by to visit for a minute after church. She was well dressed, and to be honest I felt a mixture of gratitude for the visit, and embarrassment at the way the place looked. As I apologized for the accommodations and explained how frustrated I was at having to live that way, she said one of most profound things I’ve ever heard – “Well, no one can change it but you.” No platitude, no small talk, just plain old-fashioned straight shooting candid tell-it-like-it-is honesty!

Those words cut me like a knife. They were said with kindness and love, but they were said in a way left little doubt she meant every word. She was right! …but it sure stung to hear it.

I listened to her, and got the motivation to change my circumstances, and a year later, my life had improved a hundred-fold. She will always have my undying gratitude for having the courage to say those words.

In our current society, it is common to play the victim, to talk about being “offended”, to blame hardships on others, and to expect someone to somehow make it all better. However the truth is that even if there was some incredible billionaire who wanted to help, they would not be able to, because we ultimately are responsible for ourselves. The lottery winners that go bankrupt in just a few years are a perfect example of how futile it would be for someone to “rescue” us. We would soon be right back where we started… or worse.

So, the next time you are feeling sorry for yourself, remember these words – “No one can change it but you.”

Have a great day everyone!