Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Posted December 19, 2009

Published in Lifestyle

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What President Obama's Failing Presidency Can Teach Us About Changing Ourselves and Our Relationships

Read More: change, commitment, communication, hope, President Obama

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When running for election, President Obama spoke passionately and with great conviction about the change that was necessary in our country and in our world. He spoke about his commitment to change and his belief in his capacity to initiate and create that change.

And he has, so far, failed.

I get the sense that we have elected Bush Lite, as opposed to an innovator, inspired leader that he presented himself to be, who has the tenacity and the leadership abilities to change the hearts and minds of those who obstruct his lofty goals and wish him to crash and burn.

So the question is: How did this happen? Where did he go wrong? More importantly: What can we learn from this?

Let's cut to the chase: Change isn't easy. When we wish to change ourselves or our relationships, the change will be met with great resistance, from ourselves and others. And it is our responsibility to not waver and backpedal under the pressure of that resistance.

Saying that change is necessary in ourselves and our relationships is not enough. Saying that we want to change ourselves and our relationships is not enough.

Passion, conviction, great hope and great desire will never be enough.

Without consistent, effective actions, our efforts will fail.

Without constant vigilance over our thoughts, our words, our behaviors, our actions and decisions, our efforts will fail.

Without a pushing forward of our ideals despite the resistance, the fear, and the doubts of others, our efforts will fail.

Without truly effective communication that does not waffle, but rather maintains a through line of truth, integrity and honor, our efforts will fail.

Compromise is important in the repair of relationships, but there must be very clear boundaries and deal breakers that cannot be abridged, because if critical aspects of change are not incorporated into the new foundation that is being established, whatever is built up will eventually fall and fail.

If we want to change ourselves, lip service will be eternally insufficient. We must act in the now, make our actions clear and unambiguous, and we must not allow ourselves to be influenced by our ego and the weaker, darker, fearful aspects of ourselves or others.

We must strive to discover our authenticity and mold all our actions such that we are ever moving forward towards our goals to transform ourselves.

Certainly there will be setbacks. Two steps forward, one step back. That's fine. But we must ever be moving forward. We must ever be keeping our eye on the ball, the goal, the end game.

To gloss over or avoid certain changes because they are difficult and meet with opposition within ourselves or others is to sabotage and defeat ourselves in the long run.

If we want to change our relationships, we must communicate effectively with our partner, not tolerating smoke, mirrors, distortions, misinterpretations, misdirections and lies, whether they are promoted intentionally or not.

We must be the leader in the transformation of the relationship, never allowing aggression and intimidation from our partner to deter us from our leadership role which is to forge the way for new rules of communication, behavior, and mutual respect, such that the needs of all parties concerned will be fairly addressed and met.

We must point out in loving and compassionate ways when old patterns are re-engaged, and not tolerate complacency, regression or stagnation. We must acknowledge and validate efforts that are being made, and by no means can we condone abusive behaviors, passive-aggressive or otherwise.

To change ourselves takes a lot of work. It's a lifelong process, but the journey is worth it.

To change our relationships so that they are truly loving and supportive, and nurture our continued growth and spiritual evolution is no simple matter, but it's worth the effort.

If two people come together with a holy purpose of finding and staying on a path of love and peace, it can be done. And in the doing, we role model these behaviors for others, helping them to transform their relationships and, eventually, the whole world in the process.