The question is, why do we expend so much energy trying to control things we really have no control over? At the end of the day, isn’t it just exhausting?
Life is actually quite simple. We have two choices in any given situation, circumstance or event. We can be a victim and believe that things are happening to us, that we have no control over our situation and blame others for the injury we have suffered. Or, we can start taking responsibility for our own lives, our own thoughts, our own words and our own actions and decide that regardless of the injury, we are going to live life on our own terms, powerfully.
In our society, we are supported, encouraged and even rewarded for being victims. And yet, does being a victim ever feel good? Not usually. Being a victim tends to make us feel weak, vulnerable and powerless. And these feelings in turn can lead to depression, frustration and uncertainty.
The difference between taking responsibility for ourselves when life throws us a curve ball versus being a victim of a situation, is that we become far better equipped mentally, emotionally and energetically. We stop allowing energy vampires to suck the life out of us, and rather than feeling powerless, depressed and frustrated, we are able to experience our situation as an opportunity to test our super-powers of strength, positivity, clarity and focus.
If you are sick and tired of feeling frustrated, drained, like you just can’t get a break, and are ready to get over yourself and on with your life, here are a few guidelines for living life on your own terms.
- Stop blaming everyone else
Seriously, stop it. Stop giving your power away and blaming others for what is, or is not, happening in your life. Your life is not anybody else’s fault and people are not doing anything to you.
What you are experiencing is not somebody else’s fault. They may have had a hand in creating an uncomfortable experience. YOU are the one who gets to decide how it goes from there.
- Your Life is Your Responsibility
How do you feel about your life right now? Are you frustrated with work? Do bad things happen frequently to you? Is physical or emotional pain keeping you from fully enjoying each day? Are you overwhelmed with so much to do that you procrastinate doing any of it?
So, what are you doing about it?
“Stop expecting the world to rescue you. The Lone Ranger is not coming.” Larry Winget
How you feel and what you think is reflected in how you speak (in the words that you use), and manifests itself in your world around you. Own your feelings, be truthful with yourself and be willing to face reality squarely in the face so that you may make decisions that empower you and bring you joy.
- Things are not always as they seem
No matter how much we think we know, we don’t really know everything. We all base our experiences on our own perceptions which have been colored through our own lens of past events and observations, and may or may not be the full truth of any situation.
In Communion with God, Neale Donald Walsch writes, “Please temporarily give up any previous notions you have about God & Life…it is not about abandoning them forever, but of merely setting them aside for the moment….to allow for the possibility that there may be something you do not know. The knowing of which could change everything.”
While we spend most of our lives accumulating knowledge so that we can determine our values and beliefs and live accordingly, the truth is that there is an entire world of experiences that exist beyond our knowing.
Everything happens for a reason – even if we do not know what the reason is at the time. Keep an open mind and be willing to allow for that which you do not know. Sometimes the truth is far better than you ever could have imagined.
- Acknowledge your feelings
Feelings are simple, really. We like things that make us feel good – love, affection, romance, acknowledgment. We don’t like things that make us feel bad – frustration, anger, sadness, hurt.
Of course, if we didn’t know what one felt like, how would we recognize the other? How could we know if we were in a good mood if we didn’t know what it felt like to be angry, upset, etc. The feelings we don’t like, we deny them, stuff them or rationalize them away. We do anything we can to avoid really acknowledging them and hope that it limits our discomfort.
Here’s the thing – feelings, pain and discomfort (physical, mental or emotional) are like a little kid pulling on your pant leg to get your attention.
If you have kids, you understand. If you don’t, go spend a day with a 3 or 4-year old.
When a child wants your attention, they do not really care what is going on in the rest of your life at the moment. They are not maliciously trying to upset you or piss you off. They are attempting to bring your awareness to a situation that needs attention.
Once you give them your full, undivided attention, they feel acknowledged and heard, and move on to greater adventures with more fun until the next time.
Feelings are exactly like that! They are designed to increase our awareness of our experiences and help us determine how we want to live our lives. Acknowledge them as they come up and remember, tears are nothing but a little bit of water.
- Say what you mean
In challenging situations, are you more concerned with wanting to be ‘nice’ then saying what you’re really thinking? Are you afraid if you say what you really mean someone else might be offended, hurt or feel discounted?
Saying what you mean doesn’t mean you’re a jerk and being nice doesn’t necessarily require saying more. When we default what we’re really thinking and feeling for the sake of being nice for others, we compromise ourselves. (Come on, be honest, we’ve all had those moments after a situation where we’ve kicked ourselves and come up with at least 3 responses of what we should have said).
Try this: Take a current situation you’re having challenges in communicating around. Write out what you want to say. Now see if you can write that same explanation or communication out in 10 words or less.
Eliminate the fluff and get to the heart of the matter. It may be a little challenging at first, and the more you practice, the better you will get.
Life is what we choose to make of it, and often we must be willing to get over ourselves in order to get on with the business of truly living our lives.
For more than 20 years,