I remember a time in my life when I worked so hard to change the world. I regularly took on struggles that often left me stressed and disappointed in outcomes. I have always cared about justice and about making the world a better place for everyone. So it's been tough for me to resist getting on soapboxes or taking up causes!
At this stage of my life, however, and particularly as I coach clients, I see that real change comes about when each of us catches a vision of what we want and need to do to change ourselves. It happens when we really touch those whose lives touch our own. I don't decide what change a client needs. I help her see for herself what she needs and what she must do to create the action plan to get there.
I just read something the other day that resonated deeply with me. I discovered it in Rachel Naomi Remen's book My Grandfather's Blessings as she told a story about another woman: "With tears in her eyes Harriet told me that she had somehow forgotten that every phone call, every letter, every form that she fills out matters. 'I was so caught up in the insanities of the system that I did not remember that my work is not about changing a world I cannot change. It's about touching the lives that touch mine in a way that makes a difference. I used to do this in one way; now I do it in another. But I am touching those lives just the same.'"
Then Remen added, "When it comes down to it, no matter how great or how small the need, we can only bless one life at a time."
I don't know about you, but I need to keep hearing that. I can't change the world. I can't change anyone else or engage in their transformation. But I can "bless one life at a time." That is enough.