"WHEN YOU BLAME OTHERS, YOU GIVE UP YOUR POWER TO CHANGE."
The other day I read something about taking full responsibility for your life circumstance. I frowned but forced myself to consider if my personal life circumstance is really the result of my own doing. I'm happy to take credit for the "good" stuff - nice family, modest but comfortable home, great friends, etc. All these things take a little work and I'm proud to have brought them into my life. What I resist is accepting that I also brought in the crappy stuff. Keep in mind that we all have some crappy stuff and yours is different from mine, but what matters is how we r e s p o n d (respond ability), how we confront our situations.
My crap is all about loss - not deaths, separations, destitution or anything as drastic as that. Mine is about loss of freedom - no, not real freedom, like being in jail, but nevertheless a type of imprisonment. Over four years ago my mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, came to live with me. Two years later mother-in-law, who was generally well but very old, came too. She has since developed dementia. Consequently, my life changed dramatically. I abruptly ended my career. My social life, which consisted of many outings, comings and goings, dinner parties, in general all kinds of whimsical activities, became pretty limited to Netflix movies at home. The ladies needed care and couldn't be left alone.
During those four years my Spirit plummeted into hell right here on earth. Complain, complain, complain is about all I did outwardly. Inwardly, I grieved solemnly and despairingly. "My life is over!", I proclaimed to myself, as I engaged in spiritual and emotional tantrums in protest against my situation. I had plenty of parties but they were all confined to the pity pot. "If only these ladies were not here", "If only I didn't have to cook so often", "If only they weren't so_________(fill in the blank with any negative thing you might say about anyone.)". "If only" became my mantra as memories of my former life all but vanished and my reality became all about anger, fear, disappointment, drudge. I attributed to these ladies all that could have gone wrong in my life. I blamed them incessantly and concurrently I created a pattern of resistance to positivity that did not allow me to thrive or to explore possibilities. My energy became sour, my thinking became ugly and mean. I prayed for God to rescue me somehow from this torment. God seemed to remain silent (which is after all what He/She/It does best).
What I realize now is that it wasn't so much the situation that drove me to hell, it was the way I reacted to it. I allowed my ego to run rampant with messages about my own self-importance disguised as victimhood. Luckily, healing is happening, though slowly - I am, if nothing else, a slow learner.
The other day, as I read about my responsibility to be responsible, I entertained the idea that I created my situation, not just my perception of it. It was I who asked the ladies to move in. It was I who decided they could not be left alone. I could think of many defenses to contradict those statements, but when I said them with conviction, I felt a surge of powerful energy within me - an inexplicable strength. I liked that feeling versus the victim feeling. Now, with power, I begin to accept my situation (or as some would say "carry my cross") and I see that acceptance paves the way for me to make different choices. I can chose to be miserable, or I can decide what changes I can make. My life is, after all, about me but most of all it is up to me.