Ben and Ginger, and others in the group, came to understand early in the group experience that there is a universal law of mind and spirit, in three parts. They memorized it:
- I can change no other person by direct action.
- I can change only myself.
- When I change, others tend to change in reaction to me.
Many who hear this for the first time agree to apply it, but often use it simply as a form of manipulation.
One wife said, “I made some radical changes in the way I acted for two whole weeks, and not once did I see any change in my husband’” The group helped her to see that she had to effect the changes within her own personality, not as a bribe to her husband, but because the changes needed to be made, whether he ever changed or not. Her husband had responded to her charge with the dry comment. “She’s made a lot of ten-day or two-week changes before, but I’m not going to believe she means business until I see that the changes are permanent.”
The Art of Understanding Your Mate, Cecil Osborne, page 24