Most of us enjoy the connection we have to all of the things that are going well in our lives. And, why wouldn’t we? Our own responses and actions to the people, places and things we interact with, each and every day, deserve the utmost credit when it comes to our wins.
In the same vein, we are also deeply connected to all of things we don’t like. Yet, many of us would prefer to escape these sorts of accreditations, and replace them with blame. Blame of the people, places and things that cause us to react in the very ways we don’t like. In doing so, we simply remove our most powerful mirrors, which when noticed, reflect some of life’s most profound personal lessons.
To notice our reflections in all situations, whether we label them as ‘likes’ or ‘dislikes,’ we need to move past our own victimization and finger pointing in order to see the lessons. The lessons guide us with the most accurate compass for action. They teach us more about ourselves, as well as how we can personally impact change, by assuming accountability for what’s happening in our own worlds.
When we become personally responsible for what happens to us, we empower ourselves to make a unique impact within our own lives, and also with the world at large. So, where do we find ourselves in life’s mirrors, and how can we learn from their most valuable reflections?
Step 1: Take accountability for everything that’s happening in your world, even if you think it’s bad.
Face the facts that we are connected to everything that happens in our lives, simply by virtue of the fact that we are able to perceive it. For instance, are you mad at someone? Disappointed with something? Perhaps even disgusted by someone or something outside of you? Okay, fair enough.
So, what does all of this tell you about yourself? What of your values have been threatened? What interpretations are you forming? What aspects of yourself are you expressing or repressing in the situation? What needs are you fulfilling by expressing yourself in this way? Most importantly, how might the answers to all of these questions guide and inform your next steps?
Step 2: Notice how you are responding or reacting to challenging situations.
Are you reacting to the world around you, or responding to it with an informed sense of self? By merely reacting to external things we don’t like, we are essentially allowing the world to control us. And, by taking accountability for our own feelings and emotional roller coaster rides, we have a better chance to steer our own experiences.
Our feelings belong to none other than ourselves. So, before we blame other people and situations for making us feel a certain way, why not take ownership of our feelings and actions, learn from them, and then see if it leads us to respond more productively?
It’s easier to build the lives we want, when we learn to respond to our own emotions, versus react to mere interpretations of what other people do or don’t do.