We all have challenges, problems; things that come across our path that fling us into chaos, sadness, anger, frustration etc…
I want you to imagine one of those moments, right now. Visualise and picture one that happens often, a challenge that keeps popping up on your path, one that REALLY gets under your skin and makes your brow sweat…
Now use your imagination, and picture this problem as a tangible thing. Any ‘thing’ or ‘item’, whatever you choose is irrelevant to the process, as long as you can picture the problem as a tangible thing.
Habitually and most innocently, through conditioning and lack of understanding, we deeply, deeply believe, that this problem we experience (picture the tangible item) was given to us by someone else, and would not exist if it weren’t for them and/or their actions.
I will explain…
In the moment of rage, or anger, or sadness, we usually say things like:
- If you didn’t do XYZ then I wouldn’t feel this way.
- It’s because you do XYZ that I feel this way.
- If you didn’t say XYZ to [insert name here] we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
- When [insert name here] did/didn’t do/say XYZ, then everything would be fine.
And using real life stuff:
- If Barry did the dishes, I wouldn’t get mad.
- If you didn’t say that to Charlotte, I wouldn’t feel this way.
- I wouldn’t feel this way if you gave me more attention.
- I wouldn’t feel this way if you didn’t behave like that.
Now, don’t get your defences up and pretend you don’t say these things or at least something like it. We ALL blame something or someone outside of ourselves on occasion for the way we feel.
Now go back to picturing the tangible item, the problem…..
For as long as you have this problem in your own hands, and take ownership for it, you have complete 100% power to do something with it.
The MOMENT you blame someone or something for the way you feel, plainly and simply, you’re fucked.
Because the moment you blame that person, you pass them your problem, you give them ownership of your tangible item, and you no longer have the power to change it… because you just gave it away.
You pass it to them and say THIS is because of you, not me… This isn’t mine. You gave it to me. So you can have it back. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have this problem and I wouldn’t feel this way. And because I don’t want to have it, I’m giving it back to you. And by way of an argument, lots of potential screaming, reasoning and defending, I will PROVE to you, that THIS is because of you, not me. It’s your fault I have it in the first place and it’s your fault that I feel this way.
The moment that problem, that tangible item, is passed over to someone else; you no longer own it. You then, literally have NO power over that problem. You not only pass the other person your problem, but you also pass them your power.
You cannot open a container that you do not have. You cannot read a letter that is not in your hands. You cannot paint on a canvas that you do not have. You cannot wash a car that you do not have. You cannot water a plant that you do not have!
You can only change things you HAVE. You cannot change what you do not have.
But in short, NOTHING is external, everything is internal.
If you feel shit, it’s because of you. If you feel good, it’s also because of you. It doesn’t MATTER if someone did something ‘wrong’ by you or against your morals, beliefs or whatever… you still have the freedom in every moment, to chose your response.
You can make it mean ANYTHING you wish. And if you DO choose, to make it mean something negative; “he/she doesn’t love me” or “I’m not good enough for them” or “he/she doesn’t care about me” … At least take responsibility for it. So if you do decide to change it, you can.
But for as long as you believe the responsibility and cause of the problem lies on the outside of yourself, for as long as you blame the external, you will remain a powerless victim.
REGARDLESS of the truth that the problem always originates from within, when you refuse to take ownership & responsibility for it, you CANNOT change or move past the problem… No matter how good your debating or persuading skills are, no matter how many techniques you use, books you read or documentaries you watch.
Because you CAN NOT fix, change, or transcend something that you do not FIRST AND FOREMOST take full responsibility for.
So… Here are your options when faced with your next challenge/problem;
- Blame the external as the cause and reason for problem
- Simultaneously passing them your problem, and thus your power,
- Leaving you powerless in victimhood,
- And leaving you feeling helpless, sad, angry, frustrated etc.
- Take responsibility for the way you feel
- Simultaneously recognising you have the power to feel good, or bad
- 2 a) If you choose to make the situation mean something positive (or neutral), and you choose to feel good – congratulations, you’re winning at life… You are the creator of your reality and your experience of life will be joyful, powerful, deliberate and meaningful.
- 2 b) If you choose to make the situation mean something negative, and you choose to feel bad…. continue to feel bad for as long as you like, but blame only yourself, not the external, so if you DO decide to change the way you feel later on, you still have complete power to do so.
I’ll give you a very simple story and then a metaphor so you can see how this works…
Story: Mary and Barry are in an intimate relationship. Barry gets very jealous of Mary and her other relationships with men. Barry thinks, that if Mary changes her behaviour, spends less time with other men and more time with him, there would be no problem. Barry is blaming Mary for the way he feels. Instead of realising the problem lies within him-self and his limiting beliefs/stories and not in Mary’s behaviour.
Metaphor: An alcoholic, blaming the liquor store, for his/her alcohol addiction.
As explained before, you cannot fix, change or transcend anything that you do not first and foremost take full responsibility and ownership for.
If the Alcoholic continues to blame the liquor store, for his addiction, he remains powerless.
If Barry continues to blame Mary for his unresourceful feelings, he remains powerless.
If the alcoholic came to realise, the it is not in fact the liquor store that causes the alcohol addiction, but rather something inside of him, he then gives himself FULL POWER TO CREATE CHANGE.
If Barry realised that it isn’t in fact Mary’s behaviour that creates the jealousy, but Barry’s stories, beliefs and choices, he then gives himself FULL POWER TO CREATE CHANGE.
Don’t be so fast to give up your power. YOU are so much more powerful then you realise. I don’t care how shitty you feel in any moment, you feel shitty because you are CHOOSING to feel shitty. OWN YOUR SHIT!
Don’t make it worse for yourself by handing over your power and blaming someone or something for it.
Now…. This does NOT mean, you have to feel good straight away. No… You can feel shit for as long as you want. But own it…. “I feel shit right now because I’m choosing to feel shit and that is ok!” Take full responsibility for feeling shit. Then when you do decide, “Ok, I’m done feeling this way” you have the power to change it.
Own your problem. Own your power.