Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Love and Closeness Challenge #3: Take 100% Responsibility

To take responsibility is to claim your power. When you don't take responsibility, you deny your power because you place it on something outside of you. The truth is: you are the only one who can think the thoughts, speak the words and do the things that will create the outcome you desire. Others can help you at times and there's nothing wrong with asking for help if you need it. However, any outcomes that you are experiencing in your life now and any that you experience in the future are outcomes that you have created. This doesn't mean that you are to blame, it simply means that what you have thought, said or did in the past has created what you are experiencing in your life right now. This is great news, because it means that what you think, say and do right now will create your experience of life in the future. That would make us powerful: filled with the power to create your life the way you want it.
The problem is, sometimes it's just easier to place blame and say that something is another person's fault or to give yourself an excuse. It can be very easy to say "I can't because...", feel helpless and then do nothing. Sometimes you forget that you choose how you think, speak and act. You forget that you are 100% responsible for yourself and your life in every way. It seems that the things that are going on around you and the people in your life have the power to control you. I know you do this, because we all do this.
Look at the definition above. We all have the quality of being response-able, or able to respond in whichever way we choose. We are all accountable for our thoughts, our feelings and the way that we respond to them, our words and our actions. All of us can rely or depend on ourselves to respond in ways that will bring us to the outcome we desire. We can all trust ourselves to be better in this way. You can exercise your power to choose to be the way that you want to be right now.
Knowing this, you have a choice. You have always had a choice, it's just that in the moment it can be difficult to remember. You can choose to react without thinking and lash out and make others and yourself feel awful. If you choose this path, usually later on you feel regret. Many times reacting without thought to feelings causes even more hurt feelings for everyone involved and create distance in the relationship. This action without awareness is the way that many people behave. Something happens and a certain feeling within them is triggered and they act immediately based on the feeling in the moment. They give something outside of themselves the power to effect them and inspire this detrimental action.
What would happen if instead of this knee jerk reaction we took a moment to remember what we really want the outcome to be and let that inspire our action? How would your relationship benefit if every time you felt a negative feeling, you could pause and choose to respond with love? What if you could consider what you want your relationship to be and what kind of partner you want to be in the future and act as if it is already true? If you want to have a best friend type of relationship with your husband, how would a best friend respond in this particular situation? There is nothing too big or too small to think of in this way. Sometimes the little things like choosing to go to bed a little earlier so the two of you can go to sleep and wake up and have coffee together can have a tremendous effect on your relationship. If you could choose moment by moment, to respond in these ways what would happen? I can't make promises, but I feel that the impact it would have on your relationship would be absolutely incredible. It is really what everything else that you will ever learn about relationships or improving any area of your life is based on: taking 100% responsibility for your own actions and making better choices.
This may be a simple concept, but it took me a long time to learn it. I was well into my adulthood when I began to understand that I don't have to be a slave to my impulses. I choose in every moment to take control of the things that I have control over, which are: my own thoughts, my own words and my own actions. Nothing else is within your power to control and in truth those three things are all that really matter.

The Challenge
Today's challenge is to examine your relationship and ask yourself what you would like to see more of. Then, as if your mate were not even a factor, ask yourself: "What can I think, say and do to create this?" Example: After examining my relationship I discovered that I would like to see more unity. I would like to feel like more of a team, experience more oneness. I then ask the question: "What can I think, say and do to create more unity in my relationship?" I can think thoughts about him as my teammate. I can think thoughts that include him more in my life. I can speak to him as if he is my partner in all things, using words such as "we", "let's", and "us" and talk to my friends about him as if we were a happily united team. I can do things as if we were a unit, like cook dinners that I know he and I both like, rent a movie that we've both been wanting to see etc. What would you like to see more of in your relationship? What can you think, say and do to help create it? Give it time, continue to do these things even if at first they don't seem to have an effect. 

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