“When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot.
When you realize that everything springs only from yourself,
You will learn both peace and joy.”
~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
The announcement over the hum of the jet’s engine was loud and clear, “In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.”
“Secure your mask on first.” What a profound statement! Isn’t that what most of us struggle with in life?
We find ourselves constantly giving. Giving even when we don’t have anything left to give just so others would like us and think us worthy of being their mother, daughter, sister, friend. It doesn’t matter who it is, we just need to feel like we can take care of everyone. What about us? We don’t matter. ‘Their happiness is my happiness’ is what we believe.
Until one day we wake up to find ourselves running on empty and suffocating. We had ignored the oxygen mask and now we are depleted.
It’s a rude wake-up call. We suffer silently and go into deep sadness, carrying a heavy load of grief. And we wallow in blame. We blame ourselves, we blame others, and then when there is no one left to blame, we blame our karma. We find it so utterly exhausting, all this blaming.
Such was my life until not too long ago. I was tired of beating myself up all the time and ready for radical change.
On a morning walk one day, as is my habit I put on my earphones and shuffled my iPod for some inspirational audio to listen to. This day it happened to bring up Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles. Jack’s voice was telling me that I was to take 100% responsibility for my life. I argued in my mind, “how could I have been responsible for the atrocious hands that I was dealt with? The betrayal, the rejection, the loss, and even that near fatal accident that almost took my life, how did I bring about those things?”
Jack continued to make his case and convinced me that I should at least consider it. No matter what had happened in my life I was somehow responsible. I must own the fact that everything that happened and continues to happen in my life was my responsibility. You see I had always had a choice. Those red alerts I had chosen to ignore, those voices and those warnings I pretended were not relevant to me, they had been very clear all along. But I insisted it was just my mind playing tricks on me.
We are each one of us choosing at every moment. Whether we eventually choose to make the same mistakes or take a path that is unfamiliar hoping for a different outcome, we have an option. The fact that we have a choice empowers us and puts us in control of our destiny.
Once we are able to view life from this lens of having a choice, we are no longer subservient to the drama of life and other people. We can choose to get irritated or angry, or choose to remain calm and collected. When we choose to be calm rather than reactive, we reveal the mastery we have over our own mind. Our calm response is not a weak or passive one, but rather comes from an inner strength that allows us to remain stable when faced with a situation. It is not that we are suppressing our anger, but instead we are making a deliberate decision to walk the path of wellbeing for our own benefit and that of others.
Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #1 states a profound formula that I now live my life by: E+R=O (Event +Response=Outcome). My response to any event will bring about the outcome that I must face. Therefore I am deliberate and mindful now on how I respond to any event. I am looking for a beautiful outcome to every situation and I choose to take my time to respond. The old me would snap and react in the blink of an eye without giving much thought to the outcome. But the new me has learnt the cost of doing so. The stock of calm within me has accumulated over time as I continue to learn to clear the clutter from my mind.
When faced with a challenging event or situation I take the following steps:
- Practice Stillness: I go within to check with myself. Does the situation warrant an immediate response? If not, I walk away and give myself time to mull it over. After all, I want to make my decisions based on love, and love only.
- Breathe Deeply: I focus on my breath. Breathing in calm and breathing out tension. This helps slow down my thoughts and relaxes my mind and body, thus allowing me to gain clarity and focus so I may understand the situation better.
- Connect with a beautiful memory: I’m transported to a place of beauty and tranquility. I allow feelings of serenity to flow into me, filling every part of me with a deeper sense of stillness and peace.
- Connect with my Higher Self: I see myself inside a beautiful golden temple in the presence of my Higher Self, receiving Divine Guidance. I feel His Grace flow thru me.
Feeling empowered and refreshed I emerge with renewed energy and clarity. If the situation I’m facing warrants a response, it is one of love, and for the highest good of all concerned.
All is well in my world.
Remember that you always have a choice. You are one hundred percent responsible for your life. The option to remain calm and peaceful is yours as well. You choose how to react, and based on your reactions you are responsible for the outcome in every situation you face in life. Whether your reaction is one of love or that of fear, it is your choice to make.
Be fully present and aware at all times. It is your responsibility to make the better choice, because if you don’t then someone else will choose on your behalf. And that, more often than not, will bring about an outcome that may not be to your liking. This I know for sure.
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves.
The process never ends until we die.
And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt.
© Rani St. Pucchi, 2016
For more information on Rani please visit www.ranistpucchi.com