Perception is Everything
How do you think a shift in your thinking happens? Naturally, organically, of it’s own accord? Does it need to be precipitated by an outside experience or event? How and when does your perception of a situation change? What causes a shift in your thinking? I often find that I get a new perspective from reading and I’m an obsessive reader. I love, love, love my books. Sometimes, it will be a movie that spurs a change of awareness, and often times it’s from a deep conversation with a kindred spirit.
I Am Not Your Guru
I’ve had many “a-ha” moments of sudden understanding or awareness in my life and I seem to be going through a phase where they’re occurring in increasing frequency. So, so many shifts in perception and my thinking. In fact, it’s one of these very moments that inspired me to write this blog, in this moment. I’m watching the Tony Robbins Documentary, I AM NOT YOUR GURU for the third time. It’s been probably a year or two since I last watched it and I’m amazed at things that I’d missed the first and second time, that are capturing my attention now.
You know that thing you’re struggling with right now? Probably just popped into your head, whatever that thing is for you. If it didn’t, you’re likely consciously avoiding letting yourself think about it. One might even go so far as to say that you’re in denial about it. 😉 Do yourself a favour and let it surface because there’s a serious shift in your thinking waiting for you in this.
Whatever you’re struggling with, I’m willing to bet that you’re blaming someone else for it and holding someone else accountable. It’s so much easier to blame them than take responsibility for it ourselves. If we take responsibility for it, we have to do something about it, or chose not to as the case may be. Here’s the kicker, you’re giving your power away to them, AND, they probably have no idea, nor do they care, that they’re seemingly holding the cards of your life right now.
I know it may suck to hear this, but I’ve lived this so I totally get it. I blamed my depression, anxiety and PTSD on some ill begotten friends of my brothers who made incredibly poor choices about how to behave with me as a 10 year old and proceeded to blame them until I was in my 40’s.
Like I said, I get it.
The Shift in Your Thinking
Here’s where the shift in your thinking happens. Whether your struggle is with your financial issues (that you may be blaming your parents for because they controlled the money and didn’t teach you how to have a relationship with it), or for the women-men issues (because you didn’t get the love you craved from your dad so you’ve spent much of your adult life placing that burden on your spouse), or for the men-perhaps the opposite, being mom issues (I can’t specifically speak to this one but it’s likely the same as the daddy issues we women tend to have), or the whole insecure, self worth, self esteem issue (that I blamed those boys for). Yes, those are all my real life issues I’ve worked through, aside from the mom-son dynamic obviously.
Whatever you’re blaming that one person (or group of people for), you also need to thank them for. Blame them for the good, but also blame them for the (perceived) bad. Because whatever you hated about that situation/struggle/experience/relationship, those same elements have caused you to be the opposite/look for the opposite/create the opposite in your life.
Stick with me here…
My financial issues stem from me not understanding money; it’s value, it’s worth, it’s place in my life. As a child, my dad worked and my mom stayed home and volunteered at the Y. In my limited awareness that a youngster has, I saw that my dad had the money and made the decisions. If I asked for something I wanted, such as the clothes that the cool kids were wearing (Beaver Canoe, Gender Benders, Tretorns, Roots, etc.) I was made to feel guilty for wanting those things, selfish for asking for those things, and ultimately that I didn’t deserve to have those things. Tell me that doesn’t mess you up to have those (unconscious) beliefs running in the background all your freakin’ life!
The Flip Side
The flip side of feeling negative about the lessons learned from my dad (like men control the money, and I’m not worthy of having money). The shift in thinking came when I realized that I learned positive lessons from his as well, like the fact that I have a great credit rating (because I’m good at paying my debts). The problem is that we tend to focus on the negative, like way too much, and flat out deny any good that came from the situation.
I mentioned the bit about my brother’s friends and without getting into all that here (my book is available on this website if you’re interested in the rest of the story). For years, and I mean years, they had power over me, first because I didn’t tell anyone until I was in my late 30’s, and secondly because I allowed them to have that power. Once I started working with a therapist, I was able to reframe those experiences and what they meant, but that’s in the book too.
My point here is that I blamed them for my low self esteem, fear of life in generally, fear of people, my shyness, low self worth, insecurities with males in general, I could go on. It was supremely beneficial for me to take back my power but also even more powerful to be able to blame them for the good. The early experiences shaped the person I am today and allow me to lead with compassion and empathy for people almost like it’s a default setting.
But also, and perhaps even more amazing, is that those experiences taught me to treat people better. To never want to put someone in a difficult situation, make anyone feel uncomfortable, or take advantage of anyone. I thank them for making me an advocate for mental health issues, respectful treatment of each other and empowering women, and men, to make better choices. It taught me to seek out and create a marriage that is kind, respectful and nurturing, where there is a balance of power and no one is over powering the other.
I’m so much better of a person now than I would’ve ever been had those (traumatic at the time) experiences not ever happened to me.
A shift in your thinking, looking for the positive lessons that you’ve learned from those you blame for the negative, will change your life. It will create space to breathe where there was restriction before. It will allow lightness where there was heaviness, and will open you to new levels of healing, of love and forgiveness that you never thought was possible.
I would not have the drive, the compassion or the perseverance I have today if it weren’t for my life experiences when I was younger, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I happily “blame” my dad, my brother’s friends, and every other seemingly negative experience I’ve ever had for making me who I am today.