As I was thinking about this first article I shared a post on the Simple Steps Facebook page that said,
Everything you do it based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible every decision and choice you make. Period.
When we’re dealing with the repercussions of another’s decisions, the weather, the economy or anything that isn’t within our control it’s easy to feel like a victim. After all something else is responsible for the circumstances we are left to deal with.
Being a victim relinquishes responsibility and control over our lives… and it makes us feel weak. In order to find solid ground through we have to accept our power and that requires a perspective check. Sure we may not be responsible for what happened to us… but we are totally responsible for what we do now.
This was a hard learned lesson for me but a necessary one in order to heal and move forward in my life. Here are a few examples from my own life:
- At age 53 my position was eliminated due to the company being acquired. After almost 25 years with the same company I was unemployed. The economy crashed and I found myself in competition with the 20-somethings coming out of college for a scant few jobs in my field. I’m still “unemployed.”
- I took all my retirement savings and invested in the rental housing market. I hired a property manager who didn’t collect the rents or make repairs. We ended up with thousands of dollars in repairs, legal costs and ultimately we lost the properties.
- My dad died suddenly leaving me to care for my elderly, blind mother.
All of these events occurred within a 3 year period of time… the same time Jack was diagnosed with leukemia and treated for cancer.
Yes… the circumstances arose from the actions of others. What I chose to do about it was totally in my control. And in each case the bigger factor was my attitude. For awhile I didn’t want to get out from underneath the covers. Ultimately I had a choice to make. Stay in this place of misery or get up and make the best of it.
We can allow ourselves to be buried by the circumstances in our life… and after all… who could blame us? We didn’t ask for any of this to happen. But it gets really old being in a place where people just feel sorry for us. Even worse as long as we stay in that place we feel bad about ourselves. The “aha” moment came for me when I realized that while I may not have controlled the circumstance… that event was over. My living in this place of misery was my choice.
What? Yep! I was choosing to feel bad. No one was forcing me to be. No one could. And that’s true for every one of us.
We choose to feel how we feel. If it’s working for you… go with it. If it isn’t… choose something better for you. When you realize the power of your choices you will find solid ground.