Ralph Waldo Emerson
Following last week’s blog about your response – ability being your responsibility (here if you missed it https://theinspiredzone.com/your-response-ability-is-your-responsibility/ )
I want to expand on one or two common themes or patterns that I observe in some people so I will share some examples to give you food for thought….you can decide if any of these patterns are yours and if they are what you choose to do about them. The theme here is about owning your response to life with courage and conviction :-/
Before I continue let me remind you of Eckhart Tolle’s suggestion of three choices that we always have in our response to life…
- Change it
- Accept it
- Leave it
One of the roles I hope that I serve in this lifetime is to openly and honestly reflect peoples own thoughts and opinions back to them, albeit even though I sometimes get shot as the messenger. I can best explain this through an example of a past conversation with one of my close friends. Several years ago this friend of mine was attending a regular meditation group and each time I saw her she had quite a few moans about all that she didn’t like about the group. After a while my response to her was, “and you are still choosing to go to it then.” The penny immediately dropped with my friend and we both burst out giggling – the irony of recognising your own choices and truths. She left the group and hasn’t looked back, other than we have a laugh about that conversation.
I encourage people to own their thoughts, words, choices and actions… and to recognise if they are in alignment with what they say they want in life. There is never a right or a wrong, a good or bad, there is simply in alignment and out of alignment. Everything, including us, is always in a state of growth and change and that means that things, situations, and people move in and out of alignment with each other. It doesn’t make someone or something ‘wrong’ or ‘at fault’ it just means things change and sometimes that means a parting of ways with the parts of our life that we, they or it have moved out of alignment with.
If you do feel that something isn’t working then whilst it can be difficult to have what can sometimes be awkward conversations with whoever is concerned, if things go unspoken they often also go unresolved. With the best will in the world nobody can do anything about something they don’t know is an issue. That said, if it is a known and ignored issue then sad as it might be, the next options would be can you accept it as it is or could you leave it if you can’t accept it? The loop is staying in a situation you are unhappy in without owning the choice that you have decided to do so. I don’t say that lightly as I know it can be very difficult to accept some things or to move on but if it is too difficult or not possible to remove yourself from the situation then at least coming to peace with owning the choice to stay will remove some of the additional suffering. Staying and resenting it is futile.
I am highlighting this because this is an example of being in denial of owning your response to life. If you do not respond to unhappy circumstances by making the choice to change it, accept it, or leave it, then you are on the loop. I don’t judge that because of course we all take time to come to realisations and for the time to be right, but we should own where we are in the process rather than make it the fault of everything, anyone and anything else.
Harsh words, maybe, depends which way you look at this. I like to think it is empowering and removes the victim mentality that it is so easy to fall into. I know some of life’s choices are not easy, and we don’t always have the luxury of the three that Eckhart suggests but disowning our own power of owning our response to life is not going to solve the problem.
It’s like when my husband left me last year and luckily for me I could draw upon all of the techniques that I know help these difficult times in life. I knew the option of change it wasn’t there, neither was the one to leave it, he had chosen that so my only option was to accept it, and I chose to from day one. Whilst I am still working my way through emotions as various periodic triggers remind me of the pain that it caused but I am no victim. He is no villain. Life takes it’s course. Things change, as do we as people. I haven’t always been gracious in my response but I have owned that it is for me to deal with how I respond. That is the power of owning your response to life. You own how you do it, in your own way. What I do know is that if I had kept my focus on ‘him’ and what he ‘should have or shouldn’t have’ done then I would have disempowered my response to life, and in the moments that I drift into that focus I know that I increase my own pain.
I share this example because people often dismiss owning their response to life because they think that in ‘their particular situation’ the circumstances are ‘different’ because they are ‘more difficult or challenging than anyone else’s.’ No they are not. Sometimes life does suck and we still have to own our response to it. If you want further evidence to how much life can suck and yet it is still in your best interest to own your response then I highly recommend reading ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl – and be prepared for a humbling read.
The most empowering and supportive thing you can do for yourself is to own your response to life. That doesn’t mean you need to harden up or toughen up, on the contrary, it means you need to soften to your pain sometimes, honour how you feel and make your choice of response accordingly. If you delve deeply enough into self care you will find that it doesn’t support or serve you or anyone to blame anything or anyone else for what you choose to do in response to what life brings your way. You will find that when you own your response to life that you choose to respond from integrity and love, both for yourself and for others. Blame only delays that choice, and the process of finding peace.
The subject of owning our response to life often creates great discussion so I will be discussing this in the next webinar next Thursday at 7pm. If you have any questions you would like me to answer then please reply to this email with your question.
The webinar is FREE and details of how to join the call are below. *** Please note that this will be a live call only and the recording will not be available after so do join me if you want to take part in the discussion.
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