We live in fearful times. Times of great uncertainty and unprecedented change. A time where many of our belief systems have been challenged and questioned. So how best can we deal with this?
I have always believed that the external world is a reflection of me. When the external world causes me turmoil or pain I believe that the problem and its solution lies within me. Through my response to it, I can choose the effect that it will have over me. It is my decision to choose how I deal with it. I may not have the power to change what’s happening to me but I have complete power over how I respond to it.
In saying that the “external world is a reflection of me”, what I mean to say is that we all know those days where everything seems to be going disarray for us; you miss your bus only to then have to deal with an angry bus driver and boss to then spill your morning coffee and then come home to screaming kids or a difficult partner. It is almost as if each irritating or ‘angry’ situation perpetuates the next. So, it is here that we must stop to think why is it that each angry situation follows the next? We have all seen that when we are angry we seem to encounter more and more angry people and experiences. Likewise, the opposite appears true when we are happy we encounter an increasing number of little things that make that day ‘ a good day’. As the day progresses more and more things appear to be going right, it is almost as if life is reflecting back to me my own joy and happiness throughout the day. Though the same things may have happened yesterday, for some reason today they make us that bit more joyful. Perhaps then it can only be that life is reflecting back to me what I already feel, it is merely echoing my already elated happiness and. Thus the same must be said of the things which cause us anger or pain. The anger of bus driver must only activate a wound which I already carry. It activates the happiness or wound that is part of me. The external world is only reminding me of my own and its own existence. I don’t have the power to change it nor what is happening but I have complete power over how I respond to it and it is through this that the biggest change will occur.
Let me give you an example.
If someone hurts or betrays me and I am saddened by the experience my natural instinct is to blame the person who hurt me. So I give them power over me and how I feel. My focus is completely on blaming the other person or on changing them in order for me to feel better. This is futile. It is an arbitrary use of my energy, which only results in leaving me powerless. By the end of the event I am left feeling exhausted, deflated and drained of all energy. Essentially I am left feeling powerless.
Whereas once we realise that we do in fact have the power to choose how we react to the hurt, things become easier, there appears to be ‘a way out’ of the pain and sorrow which you previously thought the other had caused you. To do so I must look at how I react to the hurt. The question I ask myself is:” How does the betrayal make me feel?” Let say it’s sadness – it is then my choice to decide to I hold on to this sadness or let it go. By making this choice I don’t necessarily approve of the other person’s behaviour but I choose to take responsibility for my reaction and inevitably my being.
The Real power is in owning my emotions, taking responsibility and thus control of my behaviour. When I am in control of my life I am responsible for my life and when I am responsible for my life I am in control of it in the truest sense possible. When not in control I will blame others, shift the responsibility to that of another being or organisation. It is only when I come to recognise that
True power lies within that I can genuinely take control of life. And this, this comes with first and foremost accepting responsibility.
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