Where are you not owning up to the state of your life? In what ways are you giving your power over to others, as though they control you or make decisions for you? Where are you blaming others for your behaviors, your feelings, or your life?
You are not under the control or the spell of other people. They do not have a magical voodoo doll or a remote control to your body, and you are not a robot. Hence, every action you take is YOUR CHOICE—the outcome of an intricate cost-benefit analysis you perform in each moment to determine if this behavior or that behavior is more likely beneficial for you. You make a choice to do everything in your life, because no one can move your body for you. Similarly, you cannot control anyone else, so stop all efforts to the contrary. The next time you tell someone: “I had no choice,” realize you were actually the ONLY ONE who made that choice, even if you do not feel comfortable owning up to it.
Likewise, no one has a remote control to your feelings. Your feelings are a chemical reaction to genetic predispositions combined with a particular set of environmental circumstances and memories based on your individual history. The person in front of you did not create your entire history and they did not scientifically manipulate your genetic makeup. It is in YOUR head and YOUR body where emotions erupt, and no one is responsible for your feelings. Similarly, you are not responsible for anyone else’s feelings. So, the next time you tell someone, “You make me feel this way,” stop and realize no one can make you feel anything. You are choosing to engage or participate in the situation; you are choosing to expose yourself to the person(s) or environment; and so YOU are responsible for creating the circumstances that trigger your emotions. And if the situation was somehow unforeseen, you must STILL take responsibility for how you feel…no one can ever MAKE you feel any which way. “I didn’t know they were going to do that” is no excuse to blame anyone else for how you feel or behave.
However, knowing other people’s triggers or emotional hotspots gives you an opportunity to make decisions about how you behave toward them. If you know certain actions or words will trigger them in particular ways, you may be providing the environmental stimulus to incite emotion and resulting behaviors in them. Be aware of this. Most of us can get a sense of how most people will react to given situations. You cannot be responsible for their feelings or behavior, but a loving and compassionate person can consider others’ feelings when making decisions. Recognizing this balance—taking full responsibility for your behavior and not taking responsibility of others, while keeping mindful of how your behavior may affect others—is the work of the inner warrior. If someone knows your hotspots, but neglects to care or to be mindful of their behavior around you, then it is only YOU who is making the decision to continue to interact with that person or environment. So take responsibility for that.
It’s time to own your life! Remind yourself that you have all the power over your decisions, and no control over the lives of others. Thus, relinquish blame, and instead take responsibility for your actions and emotions. When you own up to your life, you get back your power and you can make clear decisions about how you behave, with whom you interact, and the paths that seem most honest and righteous to you.
AFFIRMATION OF THE WEEK
I have total control over my own thoughts and actions.
I am responsible for my feelings and no one else’s.
I am in charge of my own life!