“Those who think that the world is a dark place are blind to the light that might illuminate their lives. Those who see the light of the world view the dark spots as merely potential light.” Wayne W. Dyer
When you look around the world today you’ll notice people seem to be really stuck, feeling as if they just aren’t sure how to get unstuck. They are living in fear of their future and the world they live in, and they are living in the past, not sure how to let it go. It takes time and practice, and what better way to spend your time than to spend it finding your peace of mind. Here are four key ingredients that will help get you moving out of paralysis and into your present.
In order for change to take place in your life though you need to be open to seeing things from a new perspective. As simple as that sounds, our egos can really give us a hard time when we want to make a change. So be kind, thank your ego for trying to help out and let it know that you won’t be needing it at this time.
The first thing we need to be aware of is that every single thing in our lives is our responsibility. This is hard to swallow for us because we look back at our lives and think “how can I be responsibility for somebody hurting me or for the negative atmosphere at my job, etc.” The fact is we are responsible for the way others treat us and for everything in our lives. Once you accept this and internalize it, life will begin to shift for you.
Nobody can treat us anyway unless we let them. Think of any situation in your life; a bad relationship, a difficult child, an unsatisfying job, etc. Take a good look at the situation and see what you bring to the table. Are you doing your best at your job? Are you looking for more satisfying work? Are you kind to the person you are in a bad relationship with? Do you treat the people in your life the way you wish to be treated? Are you a good example for the child in your life? Be honest. Go deep inside and see what your contribution is. And then, stop it. Be the change. Don’t wait for the other person or the situation to change. Only you can change it. Stay in your business and work on you and the world around you will begin to open up and feel lighter and brighter. When you take the blame away from the world outside and take responsibility (not blame) for it, then and only then, can the situation change and heal. And then you can move forward out of the blame and into the peace where you belong.
If you are in a relationship that isn’t working and you aren’t feeling valued, how is that the other person’s fault? You are the person staying in the relationship. You most likely are not handcuffed to the other person and have the choice to stay or leave. So whose responsibility is it for your unhappiness? Yours.
If you are at a job that is stressful or unsatisfying, it’s easy to say “My boss is a jerk, it’s his fault,” or “My co-workers don’t work as hard as I do so I have to pick up their slack and work overtime,” or “The environment is toxic at my office.” You can blame for days and you will never feel better inside. It’s your choice to stay. It’s your choice to react to the environment. It’s your choice to contribute to the environment. Most importantly, it’s your choice to see it as negative. I’m not sure of the exact quote, but Dr. Wayne Dyer always says “If you see the universe as a friendly, you will be right. If you see the universe as hostile, you will be right.” So know that how you choose to see the world is entirely up to you. I have seen it from both perspectives in my life and I can tell you first hand that knowing that we live in a friendly universe has taught me to see the good in everything.
If you are truly honest with yourself, you will find your part in every situation. Once you recognize your part you will be free to let go of the blame you give to others and work towards forgiveness.
Now that you see your part in any given situation, you can be open to forgive the person or situation you have been blaming. Blame is one of the two things that is causing the stress and anxiety, and you will want to kiss it goodbye forever. Your beliefs about how the world should be and how people should act are the second thing causing feelings of stress inside of you. Your actions are your business, their actions are theirs. Stay in your business. It’s time to forgive and let it go.
Every person in every situation is doing the best they know how in every moment. If they could do better, they would. People only know what they know until they know more. So their actions and behavior are limited to their knowledge, understanding and beliefs that they have in their lives; just like you. If somebody is hitting you, for example, it’s very likely because somebody taught them to respond that way when they are angry, and they haven’t learned an alternative way to communicate their frustrations yet. It’s unfortunate, yes, but this is all they know. If they knew how to sit down and have a nice verbal conversation over a cup of green tea, they would.
“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”
― Wayne W. Dyer
So here is where you come in. You can choose to stay in the abusive relationship or leave. Your choice, your responsibility. I know it’s not easy; I’ve been in situations that were difficult to leave. I wasn’t able to see the beauty and light on the other side of the decision so I had to take a leap of faith and know that it was going to work itself out. I had to know that I was going to grow as a person for having made the decision. I had to face my fears head on. And every time I have, I have felt the weight on my shoulders lighten. I have felt more fulfilled and at peace.
We do not have any power over how people act towards us, that’s their business. We only have power over how we react to them. We can spend our lives trying to change others, hitting our heads against a brick wall, or we can change ourselves and watch the stress wash away from us like the waves on the sand. We accomplish this by forgiving them.
Forgiveness has nothing to do with the person who has done you wrong; it has to do with you. When we have anger inside towards a person or a situation, it doesn’t hurt them. They don’t feel your pain. Your pain radiates inside of you, causing depression, disease, stress and anxiety. The purpose of forgiveness is to get that out of you. Know that the other person did the best they knew how and send them love and pray that they will gain wisdom to do better the next time.
Take responsibility for your part and then forgive yourself too, for you did the best you knew how in that moment as well. Set it free. Holding onto it and reliving it does not serve you. Forgiving yourself is just as important as forgiving the other person.
THE GIFT IN EVERY SITUATION
Every moment, every situation and every person that enters our lives is a gift. The people who come into our lives give us ‘the gift’ of showing us what we still need to work on to grow and to find the freedom we are searching for. Rather than being angry with them, consider thanking them for helping you to move closer to finding the peace in your heart.
We are faced with people who frustrate us and push our buttons. We react and blame them for being the way they are. Here is where you have to be open to changing your perspective. Let’s say for example that a husband and wife are arguing and the husband is thinking how his wife is selfish and if she were only more giving in the relationship he would be happy. What if his wife quietly held up a sign that said, “Baby, I love you, and today you need to work on being more giving in our relationship. If you do, you will be happier.” That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Instead, she acts selfishly and shows him by being his mirror. She is acting out for him what he needs to learn about himself.
Anytime somebody acts in a way that pushes your buttons, your first thought could be “Hmmm, what am I supposed to be learning here?” Give yourself a moment to breathe and contemplate that. Ask yourself “What about the way the other person is acting is getting to me and then where can I see that in myself?“ People often struggle with this part I’ve noticed because they choose not to dig deep and be honest with themselves. Consider this though, if somebody is stealing money from you, you may say I have never stolen anything from anybody in my life. But have you stolen anybody’s time, energy, thoughts, excitement, joy? Have you stolen your own joy by being negative saying things like “it won’t last?” Think outside the box, it’s not necessarily an apples-to-apples mirror. As soon as you see it though the anxiety will begin to fade away, and you will begin to feel calm and at peace. It’s pretty cool.
I will never forget the moment I chose to have faith in my life. I spent roughly thirty years (age 11-41) as an angry young lady, blaming anybody and everything for my life and how unhappy I was. I was speaking to my teacher, Moshe, and he said to me “Karen, you have lived forty years your way, and it hasn’t worked for you. What do you have to lose by having faith?” This was a pivotal moment for me. Two sentences changed my life forever. I never considered that there was an alternative to “my way.” I decided to give it a try and started telling myself that I believed, just to test it out. I’m pretty analytical girl so I needed proof. But I said it like I believed it, even though I didn’t yet. As a result, I saw beautiful gradual change taking place in my life.
Eight years later and continually working on having full faith, I can honestly say my life has never been better. I have more peace in my heart than ever before. I live by the belief that God, the Universe, Source, whatever you chose to call it, has a much bigger, better plan than I could ever imagine. I no longer have the need or desire to make those calls. I know that I am in good hands and I focus my time and energy on being the best possible source of love and light for the world. We cannot expect one world leader, or group, to change our world. We have to be able to change ourselves if we want to see a change in our world.
There is a lot of guidance available out there to get you out of your “mind maze” so that you can get unstuck and start to move forward into peace and fulfillment. Every person resonates with their own unique blend of spirituality, wisdom and/or religion, so don’t be afraid to explore and find what fits you. There isn’t a one size fits all, it’s unique to each of us. Get out there and explore. You will know in your gut if something feels right and if it doesn’t, ask for guidance and keep looking. It is available to all of us.