One of the things that particularly strikes me as I carry on with my journey, is the prevalence of people in all sections of society who make themselves powerless in their own lives.
It’s easy to do. I spent the first 30 years of my life doing this exact thing. We’ve all played the blame game, you know: ‘if my parents hadn’t divorced I would be in a loving relationship’, ‘if my lover would just be/do/give me this, I would be happy’, ‘if I’d finished school, I could get a job’, ‘if I could just buy that home/handbag/shoes/car my life would be complete’, etc, etc.
Many people are totally convinced that if so-and-so hadn’t done such-and-such to them, their life would be totally different. And, of course, better. And so they carry this ‘victimhood’ around like luggage for the rest of their lives. I liken it to carrying a suitcase full of your winter clothes on a tropical vacation—a pointless waste of time and energy.
When it comes right down to it, this kind of perceived powerlessness is rooted in fear. After all, if we didn’t have any imagined limitations holding us back, then we suddenly become responsible for our own lives. Scary! If we didn’t have people/situations holding us back, we might actually have to try! And if we try, and then fail, that would be horrible! We would be labeled a failure! What will people think of us? Ack!
So many people choose to live a half-life, deeply mired in their imagined limitations because it feels a lot safer than the alternative.
But here’s the thing, our journey in this life is our responsibility and ours alone. No-one and nothing else is responsible for your life and your perceived lack of happiness.
And if there’s one thing I’ve noticed over the last few years, it’s that there is nothing we can’t achieve if we believe in ourselves and are prepared to put in the effort to get it.
This took me a really long time to learn.
Life is a series of choices that are ours to make. No one can do anything to you if you don’t let them do it. Every person/experience that has occurred in your world, every little or big setback, every perceived ‘failure’, you have been responsible for calling into your life, either consciously or unconsciously, or by seeking it out, attracting it, making it mean something about you, or ignoring it.
‘Wait!’ I hear you cry. ‘I didn‘t ask to be abused/neglected/bullied/dumped/ fired/etc! That wasn’t my choice!’ Maybe not. But how you react to it is your choice. What story you make it mean about you is your choice. Not doing something about it is your choice. If you use it as an excuse to not live the best life you can, then that is your choice. You are in charge of your life and how you react to these experiences.
And thank goodness for these experiences. If our lives were problem-free, there would be little opportunity to find out what’s inside us—our strength, our courage, our will, our love. Each and every ‘adversity’ we face is the opportunity to learn and grow as human beings.
So instead of being angry at all those people who did something to us, let’s look at it in a different way. Let’s look at it as a choice we made to bring these people/experiences into our lives so that we could come a little closer to finding out who we really are. See them as the little setbacks that make the victory all the more sweet. See them as the little tests we endure, so we can be sure we really want something and are on the right path.
So don’t be angry, resentful and bitter. Instead, say thank you. Think about someone who has held you back in some way and say to them or yourself: ‘Thank you. Thank you for the experience you have given me. Because you helped make me into the person that I am. And I am amazing.’