In the past days I wrote about the situation when you have changed a lot but your friends have not, or not in the same direction. You think so differently now that you don’t even have anything to talk about. I wrote that you should keep the love and friendship and that there was still a chance that your friends might change as well. While I believe in this hope, I would also like to make one thing clear: you won’t be able to change anybody, so don’t put all your hope on this thought and most of all don’t try to create this change in the other one! It has to come from within!
It is normal that everybody thinks he or she is right. That’s why you think and act the way you do. In order to change something in your thinking, attitude and behavior, you need doubt. Doubt that what you do could not be right. That there may be something different, something else, another way or thought that is more correct. But this doubt won’t come from outside!
If I look at my own changes, I can clearly see that it did not happen by someone trying to convince me. Very few people ever really tried but if someone actually questioned my belief, I had an answer ready why I thought I was right. Nobody would have ever been able to convince or change me with words.
There are of course some events from outside that could initiate a change. In my example, it was my long retreat in the cave as well as the death of my sister that had an influence on me and made me think. In the end however, it is the inner journey that creates the change and not any event from outside. Only with this inner journey, I started seeing my belief system with open eyes and an open mind. Only after my inner change I realized the illusions and lies that are in religion.
The change in itself however is never a conscious thought. It is deeper, a subconscious shift that lifts some curtains which were previously hiding another world from your eyes. This cannot happen through the words of another person.
If the words and input from outside alone would be able to change another person, people would change much more frequently. This is not how it happens though! Others listen to what you say, they hear your words and may even think that it is logical what you are saying. They know that there is something wrong in their own thinking or that you seem freer and feel better with your belief system than they do with theirs. It is however very hard to come to this conclusion to actually change on your inside.
That’s why you have to stop trying to change your friends. Stop expecting and don’t put a lot of hope in the thought that they might change. Accept them as they are, their thoughts and behavior but keep an open mind to talk about everything when you are asked. Don’t constantly tell the other one that he is wrong. That would only bring meaningless discussions, arguments and even anger in between you. Live your truth as an example for him or her to see. Should someday a friend come to you and ask for your opinion, just be there. If not, accept it as it is.