Just the other day my son, who is almost 5 years old, said, “you guys hurt my feelings.”  I replied by saying, “I’d like to talk about that.”  He said, “well, only I can hurt my feelings.”  And I said, “wouldn’t you rather choose to feel something different?”  He closed the conversation by saying, “yes, to have fun.”

I am not telling you this story to toot my own horn about my parenting skills.  In all honesty, I’m not sure he entirely understands the concept behind the conversation, and I fall short as a parent on a daily basis.

It took me at least 35 years to actually understand and embody this principle.  Even still, I have to remind myself of it quite often.   That noone else can make me feel or do anything.

I have heard so many phrases throughout my lifetime such as: I can’t exercise or eat any different than I am now, I don’t have time.  Or she hurt my feelings so much, I won’t be able to forgive her.  Let’s break these statements down.  I can’t exercise or eat any different than I am now, I don’t have time might as well be rephrased as I choose to place other things above my  health.  She hurt my feelings so much and I won’t be able to forgive her, simply means that this person is choosing to hold onto the the hurt, because essentially no one can hurt us unless we decide we are going to be hurt.  And as we all know, unforgiveness only really hurts the person that is not forgiving and is holding onto the pain.  We have all said statements like these and we will continue to relinquish our power if we keep saying and believing them.

As most of you know, the society that we live in most often portrays individuals blaming others for their difficulties, blaming others for their own choices that ended up giving them results contrary to what they want in their life.

There are so many situations that point to the lack of responsibility and “victim mentality” that is so dominant in our society.  One incident that comes to mind, among the many cases in which people have sued because of their choice that gave them unwanted results, is the lawsuit involving Nutella. Long story short, a class action lawsuit was settled over the company’s claims to being a healthy spread, and the judge favored with a parent who claimed she was tricked into believing Nutella was, in fact, good for her children.  Subsequently, Nutella doled out a total of 3.05 million in this lawsuit.  This is just one of many cases out there in which the individuals didn’t assume responsibility for their choices.

I can think of so many times in my life when I’ve used other people or situations in my life as a reason not to take 100% responsibility for the results I was getting.  In my opinion, it’s almost second nature, it’s an easy way out.  To base how much effort I put into a relationship on how much effort the other person is putting in.  To wait for a sign from God that ensures that I am making the right decision.  To see how people around me react before putting both feet into my business or other interests.  To make my family an excuse as to why I don’t have time to succeed in friendships, in business and any other area.  These reasons leave me powerless by not taking full responsibilty to create the life I want.

This path is the easiest way out, but also the path with less meaning and less fulfillment.  To me, to own every inch of my space, creating my life exactly how I want from the inside out, without depending on the outside world to validate or contribute is true success and a representation of what it means to go “all in.”

No-one can be the cause of our thoughts, feelings or actions, and that, when I think about it, is so liberating.  We get to decide what we will make everything, that is said and done, mean.

So, my friends, I encourage you to join me on this quest of creating a space for yourself to soar, based on a foundation on which we own all of our power, by being aware of the thoughts, emotions and choices we are creating.  A journey where failure is just a lesson and a stepping stone to our greatest dreams and desires.

I leave you with this question, in what area of your life are you giving your power away by blaming someone or using a situation as an excuse for not taking 100% responsibility for your results?   How could  you chose to view everything that happens in your life in an empowering way?


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