Change Your Situations, Change Your Life!

Drew ParalesDo you remember when you were a little kid and all you wanted to do was to be around your friends, play and have fun? You would look forward to every fun-filled moment you could have no matter what the game was that you were playing, what relay race, what biking adventure you were going have? I certainly do! It was a very freeing and kid-like time. Then the older we get, the more we really begin to care about what we look like, how we talk, what people think about us, right? Suddenly we find ourselves in experiences in our adult lives with even MORE issues and deep-seeded emotions, and we experience some pretty painful situations that we THINK we cannot get ourselves out of. The experiences are infinite! We can be with our friends who we think are judging us, hang with our buddies that cut us down for not making enough money, be with family that we feel like we simply don’t measure up to, be in relationships we feel that we cannot escape, etc. The list, as I said, is endless. We KNOW these situations do not do much for us, and yet we continue to put ourselves in these spots and hang out with people who don’t fulfill us the way we really desire of them or we keep running back to. Why?

I remember just a few years ago, I had a very close friend whom I thought I could I trust my life with. He and I were thick as thieves, having fun, going out, traveling to different places, being introduced to new people all the time. We would share and talk about our dating lives and have meals together. He was like the brother I never had. He was also NOT a very well individual. He had addictive tendencies, and now when I look back, very sociopathic ones as well. We became so close that I would tolerate the abuse from him: being yelled at, accused of things I never did, being left places with no ride back, being ignored for “better” people, being made fun of, and being in situations that really made me feel like s***.Β  In the beginning, we created this HUGE circle of friends that over time made me feel like I was being left behind. I know what you’re thinking, “Why did you continue to keep going back?” Well, I asked myself the same question. And I kept asking myself for YEARS. All I could come up with at the time was “Because I love my friend and the people we hang out with, I should just ‘suck it up’ and enjoy myself.” Yeah, regardless. Regardless of what? My sanity, my self-worth, my dignity? I didn’t have much left, and I was quickly running out fast.

After a few more years of this craziness, and beginning to delve deeper into personal growth, I started to have a better understanding of how much I mattered. I knew I was not a horrible person or sad or destitute or ugly or dispensable. But somehow, for the sake of my friends, I felt like I had to believe the things I was being told, and keep going back for more to feel complete or a have a life! What a load! It wasn’t until I was so worn down that I began to seek out new friends and situations that made me feel better. That uplifted me instead of tearing me down. Ones that made me feel equal and recognized the talents that I had, and who went to places and events that supported my growth and not my demise.

I think we get SO addicted to conflict that we keep running back to the situations that pretty much are killing us, because we believe that kind of action and interaction is the only way to get Love. To make us feel like we belong to something… anything. We know deep down we are hurting, but our voice never comes out enough to stop us and shout, “NONE OF THIS IS TRUE! You don’t belong here.” I had to REALLY believe in myself enough to know that I had A LOT to contribute, that I had gifts to share. That I was strong enough to morph my situations into ones that nurtured and fed my spirit because I believed that I deserved to grow.

There are SO many situations that we constantly keep putting ourselves into for fear of losing something that really, when you think about it, we never had. We keep hoping that if we keep repeating the same patterns, hang out with abusive friends, stay with abusive spouses and partners, keep going to jobs that we are torn down at, keep eating the same food, keep taking the same drugs, keep NOT exercising, keep NOT looking for a job, keep returning to situations where we are so cut down, that something, somewhere, somehow our lives will change. But have they? Our dreams stay dreams because we don’t put the real effort forth to move beyond what is comfortable. (And last I checked, I didn’t know abuse and low self-esteem equaled comfort. I always thought of comfort like a down-filled bed, pillows and gorgeous view ;)) Really, we call our stale patterns and hurtful situations comfort? I think it’s time we change this meaning and give ourselves a chance to change our lives.

Today, pick a situation in your life that you would like to change. Think about a dream, no matter how small, that you would like to accomplish and experience it coming to life! Ask yourself, is what you are doing NOW getting you closer to that dream? Find the Self-Love in you enough to pick yourself up first just this one time. Yes, you’ll feel uncomfortable, and you’ll more than likely find yourself wanting to revert back to the old experiences. But the REAL questions you need to ask yourself is, “Where has my past and current situation gotten me? Has it gotten me closer to what I want to accomplish?” If your answer is no, then it’s time for you to consider a rewiring of sorts. And part of that letting go is bringing up that courage in you that you know you have to make tiny uncomfortable steps every day to find more pleasurable and uplifting situations to place yourself in. Feel in your heart, and pick the pain or the pleasure. You have already picked pain over and over again. I would LOVE to see you choose pleasure this time, to see you LIBERATE and give yourself the privilege and the freedom to experience situations that help YOU grow, and not live the dreams of others. Look, no one said it would be very easy, but change as I have said MANY times before, requires faith, consistency and effort. You will get to take credit for gliding towards your dreams and happiness and be surrounded by people that support you and in situations that fulfill YOU! That much you deserve…

And by the way, my old friend? Well, we are no longer friends. But I have great Love for him. I’m living a happy life of opportunity and being of service to others like my students and my clients, and I Love myself a heck of a lot more than I ever have!Β  And he, so I’ve heard, is sadly still struggling and still recreating those old times. So from here, I continue to wish him the best with Love.

So, change your situations. See what happens. Will it change YOUR life? Tell me what situations you’d like to change. Let me know in the comments!

All my Love,



Andrew β€œDrew” Parales is a Vocational Rehab Educator for students with disabilities in transition & employment, a school site program & events coordinator/trainer. Connect with Drew at:

Facebook: ILOVEliberation

Twitter: @iLOVEliberation

  • Mark Deman

    Drew you must of written your blog for me today. I am between jobs again. Have been trying over and over to find a happy place but the roadblock shows up again. Feel exhausted and low on energy, but at the same time full of energy and ready for the next challenge. Please advise.

    • asolheim

      Funny you should mention that, Mark. I just went through the same thing! I moved, and though there were plenty of opportunities, I found myself not wanting any of the jobs. Then when I did apply to ones I (somewhat) wanted, I didn’t get even an interview. What was really frustrating, is when an aquaitance(sp?) of ours, who’s a drunk, would lose a job because of drinking, and then turn around and get another one right away. Well, I finally found one I would be truely happy with, and you know what? Not even 20mins later, I got a call! And the “interview” felt more like she was actually hiring me right the and there! (I found it on craigslist. Mine was the only “serious” inquiry.) And soon, I may even become more of a partner, as she is looking for a job in I.T. (She owns a small botique.) Hope that helps! Much love! <3 Amanda

      • Thank you asolheim for helping Mark out, sharing and lending your experience! I love when the TDL community reaches out to one another. THATS true love in my eyes… =) Congrats on the job and the insight! Best of luck to you and your partner. You got Love on our side!

        Love, Drew

    • Hey Mark!
      Im glad that my article spoke to you today! My suggestion would be to spend a little more time to focus on the latter part of your comment here, which I loved! Look at why you feel so full of energy. Why you believe you are ready for the next challenge! Believe it or not Mark, that is an AMAZING sign! Make the effort today to take a leap in to some unknown part of the journey you want to take in your life. Change will come, when you focus more on what you want, and you take very active motion towards it. See the roadblocks as those challenges for you to break through and remember to focus in energetic part of you. That exhausted part of you is the old you staring at the roadblocks, not jumping over them! πŸ˜‰ Keep me posted on how you do!
      Lots of Love, Drew

  • Emily

    This is wonderfully written and spoke EXACTLY to an unhealthy situation I just had the courage to extricate myself from…THANK YOU : )

    • Awww., thank you SO much and you are so welcome Emily! And bravo for taking yourself out of a experience that no longer served you… Thats Love and bravery for yourself. Keep going!!
      Love, Drew

  • Robin

    On the way to work this morning I was thinking about certain relationships in my life- thinking “what the heck am I doing?” I came in this morning and found THIS post and it totally hit home! Divine timing at it’s best. Lately I have been questioning the group I hang out with most often and I feel stuck- I consider them my closest friends and I I love them with all of my heart but I feel like they are in this rut- this lifestyle- that I know is not serving my personal growth. I feel guilty though if I back away from them and I know I shouldn’t. I have come to a standstill and I want out. I am growing and they are not. What angers me sometimes (again- I feel guilty for thinking this way) is that they SAY they want to grow and change and improve and then do the opposite…over and over and over. I am getting out.

    • Hey Robin!
      I KNOW this feeling of “what the heck am I doing??!!” πŸ˜‰ Its all too familiar. I used to dance with this rut. For you here, its apparent that your situations are giving you signs that its time to grow… Your life and path are calling you to begin to walk down that journey now. You can lovingly begin to call out, reach to those individuals that are where you want to be, those that will lift you up! It will start with how much you value yourself and your growth. Try not to just remove yourself so quickly, just begin to look up, and share where you are coming from. Remove the guilt Robin, and begin to look up! Get yourself unstuck by making actions that reflect your desires to grow… =) Thank you so much for sharing your experience here!

      With Love, Drew

  • Excellent post! This is so true. We have to realize that we DO have the power, the strength and the resourcefulness to change our environment, activities and social group to have a better, more fulfilling life. I love it!

    I almost have the opposite problem from what you described here, but it doesn’t matter. It all comes down to the same lesson. And it actually helps me remember to have a balanced view of my own situation. I’m a very strong and confident person to the naked eye, but deep down I have such self-worth issues that I appear to “not put effort into relationships” when really I just figure no one wants anything to do with me; I’d be bothering them if I contacted them; if they cared or wanted to see me, they’d ask. I don’t want to push it and be annoying (I was called that in my youth). And even though I’ve logically known this for a while, it finally clicked and I have the confidence and self-worth now to actually DO something about it. So I’m reaching out to try to reconnect with people. But your post reminds me – some relationships are not worth going back to, so I need to make sure I know which ones I should try to reconnect with and which ones, even though I may feel bad leaving them behind, are better left in the past.

    Thanks for this post!

    Much love,

    • Hello Nina!
      What a beautiful and candid comment you made here today! Good for you.. I admire your courage to want to reach out again and in spite of the past and and how you once saw yourself. One of the best realizations to have IS that we become who we spend time with. Use your new found worth to make and take action on those connections that fulfill you and support who and most importantly you get to support and lift up as well. Love will come from mutual growth.. Stay with it, stay brave! They will Love You for YOU! Thank you SO much Nina…
      Big Love, Drew

  • Jim

    Absolutely excellent article. I found this to be so true when I left a very stressful job and marriage for a brand new location. The effect on my morale and overall health was stunning. My mental outlook improved, my daily habits improved, and I felt a sense of peace and joy. “Run with the fast horses,” and not with people who drag you down. Neuroscience proves the importance of this. It is my responsibility to remember this and maintain relationships with people who uplift me and challenge me in a good way, instead of repeating familiar patterns of the past. Thanks Drew. Perfect timing I might add with this post.

    • Hi Jim!
      You are SO welcome! I am so happy this article resonates with you and that you can relate to my story and the wisdom that comes from it. I LOVE hearing when people have been through the exact same thing, and felt the exact same thing and together we can impart these pearls of knowledge to the world. Your act to responsibility and your words are beautiful, so thank YOU Jim! I love perfect timing too… πŸ˜‰

      Lots of Love, Drew

  • Shaw

    Wow – thank you for writing this article. I’ve been going through a breakup that I believe I knew deep down wasn’t truly right for me but was too afraid to let go. Even now that’s it’s ended, I’ve been running back to my ex and putting myself in situations that I know are not good for me. Your words have made me realize what I think I’ve known all along – I need to be brave and remove myself from these old, hurtful patterns. I wish my ex the best, but I need the best for me too.
    Thank you Drew.

    • Hey Shaw!

      You are very welcome! I am so happy for your new found thought process… I know that its difficult like you say, it just keeps us running back. Running back to the start line never gets through the race. As you wish the best for your ex, you are correct in that YOU need the best for you as equally! Keep going, know that the future is not that far away and you have a lot of happiness and abundance waiting for you to be experienced!

  • cinnamon

    Drew, thank you. Almost a year ago, I made efforts to leave a years long abusive relationship and I would like to add a comment or two. First – if you are being abused, don’t think you are strong enough to deal with it. It is corrosive, it will impact you like breathing dirty air weakens your lungs. Get out.
    Second, leave with kindness. Don’t label the other as bad or a sociopath etc.They are a person before a label or pattern of behavior. love them and leave them and forgive them. they may not realize what they do, they may not care but on some level, you also participated and allowed it. Don’t put all the “bad” on them for teaching them they could treat you that way.Recognize some of your anger at them is hiding your anger at yourself for each time you pushed down your voice of dismay at how you were treated.
    Third, expect some push back. Especially if you try to stay friends or in contact and not just leave totally. They will resist and it will get worse first. Which is why most advice is to just drop the relationship. you need to spend energy on developing new responses yourself to the world, others, not be in reaction to them all the time.
    Fourth, ask why or what energy you were hiding from yourself by being there….you were getting something out of it or you would not stay….was it validating some insecurity, or that they were more demanding and you could avoid your own issues and problems because it was always a crisis with them? lots of possibilities, some good and some bad. be honest and fair.
    Fifth, it will hurt. You do care about the person. you do love them and the common activities or friends. Admit you grieve and hurt. Its hard to walk away. Especially if the abuse is needy. Be kind with yourself too.

    • David

      Hurt was an understatement:) Cinnamon. Every word you’ve spoken is spot on. Being king to yourself is the hardest part.