Why do we try to change people

One of the hardest lessons we learn in life is that one can only change oneself. It is futile to try to change someone else to suit one’s needs. It is only one’s own ‘programming’ that can be changed because we control our own consciousness.

However much a friend, relative or colleague’s behaviour might frustrate us, we must learn to focus on what we value in them. The best way to change or influence positive changes in our loved ones is by being an example. Typically it is the ones we love the most whom we try to change. We tend to forget that perhaps we love these people because they are different from us; you know the old saying – “opposites attract”. Besides, there are positive and negative qualities in all people including ourselves and sometimes people who are different from us may help us realise and overcome our own negatives and vice versa.

Another way to look at things is the truism – “people come into our lives for a reason”. Perhaps we enter their lives to help them or change a certain pattern of behaviour. My understanding of Indic philosophy and my experiences in life have firmed my belief that we are drawn to certain people at certain times in life based on the level our mind is functioning on in that time. I had spoken about these four levels in my essay ‘The Marital Journey’. Men and women function on four levels – Spiritual mind or atma, Rational mind or buddhi, Emotional mind or mann, and the Physical mind. At different phases of our lives, different ‘minds’ dominate and therefore different patterns of behaviour are dominant. These levels of functioning are closely linked to the chakras in our body.
Let me explain a little about chakras, before I describe how they are linked to the four levels of functioning minds. According to Indic philosophy and other belief systems, are seven centres of Prāṇa, or life force. Chakras correspond to vital points in our body and are the centres through which energy flows in the body. Each chakra has a different purpose and each is represented by a different colour on the VIBGYOR spectrum.

  1. The Root Chakra represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded and is represented by the colour red.
  2. The Sacral Chakra focuses on our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences and is orange
  3. The Solar Plexus Chakra is our ability to be confident and in-control of our lives and the colour representing it is yellow
  4. The Heart Chakra corresponds with our ability to love and is symbolised by green
  5. The Throat Chakra signifies our ability to communicate and is blue in colour
  6. The Third Eye Chakra embodies our ability to focus on and see the big picture and is represented by the colour indigo
  7. The Crown Chakra is the highest Chakra and represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually. The colour violet represents it.

The spiritual mind of atma is closely linked to the seventh chakra. The rational mind or buddhi is linked to the fifth and sixth chakras. The emotional mind is connected to the fourth chakra and finally the physical mind to the first, second and third chakras. Therefore, if a person’s chakras are not balanced, or are blocked, the body feels this imbalance and slows down and this leads to negative patterns of behaviour. At such times a person feels listless, tired, out of sorts, or depressed. Not only does the physical body get affected, but thought processes may also be affected and a negative attitude, fears, doubts, etc., may abound.

It must be noted that when I say the chakras may not be balanced, I do not mean that all chakras have a problem. For most of us, life events, certain spaces or times, are not conducive resulting in one or more chakras to become unbalanced. This can be rectified fairly easily, but most of us are not even aware of our spirit bodies. At such times, a person’s unconscious mind may be attracted to certain others who can help to rediscover their life energy balance. Spending time with such a person helps in the healing process. As the person gradually begins to regain balance, there comes a stage when we complement each others beings. In time, the other person may be completely able to overcome negative tendencies or habits. Once people have exchanged energies, they either accept each other and let each other be or they begin to drift away subconsciously knowing that they have fulfilled a purpose in each other’s lives.

So what happens to the relationship after this point? Problems begin to occur if we continue to force the other person to change. We are unable to see that we are no longer required to play the old role anymore. So unless we can learn to change our role in that relationship, it is best to move on and let the other person continue to grow at their own pace and in their own way. It is not an easy lesson to learn but it is possible. We must learn to introspect and reflect on our own behaviour in order to do so. This act of letting people be is perhaps the biggest learning we can achieve and the best gift we can give to others.

For your very own chakra analysis, click here.

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