This has been, and still is if I’m not super vigilant, one of my favourite go to stories. It has many beginnings that sound something like this.
I would be so happy if:
a) This had not happened/ This had happened
b) Things had just turned out the way I had imagined
c) This person had acted in the way I wanted
d) If I had been given this opportunity
e) If I had been rich
f) If I had met the right person
g) If I had that job
h) If I wasn’t so unlucky
You get the idea. Our childhood friend Eeyore was the poster child for this philosophy.
While there is no doubt that the actions of other people or certain experiences do at times have a deep impact on us, I’m speaking specifically to the long term perspective we are in danger of acquiring, the lens with which we view life. The outlook that dictates that somehow we are a victim of circumstances; that our happiness lies outside of ourself. The truth, however, is that in making other people or events responsible for our happiness we are outsourcing our power.
“External circumstances do not create feeling states. Feeling states create external circumstances”, writes Martha Beck. I don’t know about you but about five years ago this was groundbreaking for me. I felt the shock wave of this truth move through every part of my victim mind. Life was not to be blamed for my misery? I had been responsible for creating the life that I was complaining about? Had I just discovered that I was the tooth fairy, I think it would have been easier for me to assimilate.
While growing up and being accountable can be pretty sucky, what is worse is the delusion that makes us hope that others will understand and fulfil our needs in a way that even we don’t; that life is a capricious creature who enjoys throwing us all kinds of curve balls. In continually giving away our power to others and limiting our personal evolution through our fear based perspective we are walking into the greatest tragedy of all, living from a small and stunted self.
By recognising and understanding the divine aspect of our being we lay claim to our power and begin to create a life beyond our imagination.