Stop “fixing” people … they aren’t broken and it’s not your job!

For some reason, people always want to fix me. They all have the perfect plan for my life… All I have to do is follow these simple steps or watch a video or listen to the message on an eight CD boxed set and my life will be perfect…

Don’t I want a happier more fulfilled life? Don’t I want to walk down streets of gold and sit next to a river where milk and honey are flowing everywhere? Don’t I want to get fix?

Actually, no…. I do not want to get fixed because I’m not broken.

You can’t change anyone without his or her permission and it’s rude to try. You either accept people for who they are or do not associate with them. This is an impossible task too many people try to take on in their relationships and in their friendships. Trying to mold people into the way you wish they were is inherently disastrous.

People are exactly who they are, and despite your opinion, they will continue to live this way. How many times have people gotten into relationships with the thought “I can make them into a better person; I can save them”? How well does this work? I bet more often than not, this blew up in their faces. Implementing change within ourselves is hard enough and trying to change the way someone else behaves is even harder.

When you truly know and love somebody it can be frustrating watching them throw away all their potential, but this is NOT your problem, it is theirs. You can only express your opinion on the situation; you cannot force it down their throats. This is something they must personally accept and consciously work towards. You forcing your beliefs down their throats is only going to cause resentment and manifest an opposite effect.

Showing someone the error of their ways is a much more difficult task than most people realize. All you can do is show them the information and let them interpret it in their own way. The decision to change must come from the other person. This is the only way they will make an effort to change their actions.

If you are committed to helping someone make changes in their life you need to understand what it is they truly want. The best way to handle this is not to project your own ideas onto them but rather let them come to you for the help. It is a completely different scenario when someone seeks out your help. Ask them what you can do to help them make these positive changes in their life. This gives them control of their own change and as a result they will feel internally motivated. All you can do is make the conditions right in order to help someone change.

When it comes down to it, we can’t do anything to make anyone see what we want him or her to see. You cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people that you choose to be around. Do not make the mistake of wasting your precious time trying to fix something about someone they do not seem to have a problem with.

If you have someone in your life that is making poor choices that are affecting you, it is in your best interest to not associate with them. You both have the right to make your own decisions. Ultimately, the greatest thing we can do to others is to accept them for who they are and the path of life they wish to embark on.

The key thing to remember is that you can’t change people; they must want to change for themselves… and quite frankly, they might be on the path that leads them exactly where they need to go. Maybe we should stay out of the way and let them find their own path.

This is my journey… this is my life!

Rob Cantrell

The problem with life is we think we have more time…

Last night was an amazing night in Hollywood… MJ and I walked to the Hollywood Bowl for the concert of the year. Maroon 5, Sam Smith, The Weeknd, Demi Lovato, Calvin Harris and others played to celebrate the message “We Can Survive”. An important message for everyone living with cancer.

17,000 people danced and sang under a full Southern California moon. The excitement and hope the performers brought to the stage gave every person in the crowd a sense or immortality. It was a night to remember!

On the walk home, we saw it…. Just beyond the yellow police tape that blocked Franklin Avenue and the entrance to our building were the remnants of a BMW and Cadillac, so damaged it was impossible to distinguish the make and models of the cars. I’ve never seen anything like it. Nothing survived the impact…. not the BMW… not the Cadillac nor anyone in them. Twenty minutes earlier, these people were on their feet dancing and singing about “survival”, now they’re gone. They didn’t survive the ride home.

All Night. I wondered if there was anything they left unsaid or undone in their lives… had they said “I’m sorry” or “I appreciate you” or “I love you” to the people in their lives? Was there anything left undone by the people that loved them? Did they wait too long and just never got around to saying what was deep inside their hearts?

Lori Deschene is the creator of a spiritual website and I believe is finding a better meaning in life by living in the moment. She asks the same questions I do and seems to be finding answers in her life by looking within instead of around her. I think she’s right.

Most of us are really good at finding reasons to wait. We wait to call good friends we miss because we assume we’ll have plenty of time. We wait to tell people how we really feel because we hope it will someday feel safer. We wait to forgive the people who’ve hurt us because we believe they should reach out first.

We wait to apologize for the things we’ve done because we feel too stubborn or ashamed to admit fault. If we’re not careful, we can spend our whole lives making excuses, holding off until a better time, only to eventually realize that time never came.

It sounds morbid to acknowledge that our days here limited, and it’s scary to realize that none of us can ever know how many we have. But we can know that in our final moments, it’s unlikely we’ll say, “I wish I waited longer,” or “I wish I stayed angry longer,” or “I wish I played it safe longer.” Most of us will get to the end of our lives and say, “I’m sorry.” “I forgive you.” Or, “I love you.”

Of course, there’s another option: We can say those things right now.

We can appreciate the people we love in action instead of distracting ourselves with everyday worries. We can be brave in expressing our thoughts and feelings instead of over-analyzing and talking ourselves out of it. We can decide for ourselves what truly matters and honor it while we have the chance.

This is our chance to live and love. This moment is our only guaranteed opportunity to be thoughtful, compassionate, understanding, forgiving, and kind to the people we value.

It might be terrifying. It might require humility. It might seem like it’s not a priority. We owe it to ourselves to acknowledge it is, and to do something about it instead of building up reasons to regret.

This morning, I called my parents and thanked them for never giving up on me… I called my kids and told them I loved them and respected their choices in life. I called my friend Anita and thanked her for keeping me alive until I could get help. I called Manny Rodriguez of La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center and let him know I love him and how his life is an example for anyone in recovery. Lastly, I told MJ how much he means to me.

What have you been meaning to do or say—and what are you waiting for? This is my journey… this is my life!

Rob Cantrell

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