Saturday, March 08, 2014

A playa lesson that stuck

This would be me.  Burning Man 2012.

I was reminded again this week (and last month) of another life lesson the playa taught me.

I am responsible for my own experience.

I am responsible for my own pleasure.

No matter what is thrown at me.  No matter what happens to me and around me.  I have choice.  I have power.  I have complete control over my own response to everything.

In parenting.  In relationships.  In travel.  In work.  In life.

I am responsible for my own experience.

"In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened."  ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Negative things will continue to happen the longer I breathe and walk around.  For a while I wanted them to stop.  I wanted to avoid them. Cause, you know, that's possible.  *cough*  Now I know I can embrace the negative, feel it and then choose how to respond.  Respond instead of react. Raymont Anderson is a life coach who tries to help his clients understand the results of responding in anger when something is thrown at them. For instance, someone cutting them off in traffic or being hurtful. Maybe our children responding to us in a not so pleasant way. Our natural response is anger or lashing out.  Fighting back. Anderson asks, "What did that give you? What was the benefit? You are the one who raised your blood pressure, levels of cortizol, and testosterone as you responded in anger."

Hmph. I hate how right he is. Those things are already elevated. And we can feel them and stay with them, waiting for them to subside (all the while, not reacting from the middle of that muck). Or we can react in a way that actually increases all the negative.

I am responsible for my own experience.

I have choice and power. Granted, I might not have all the choices I want, and I might not be able to exercise the amount of power and control over a situation I would prefer. That does not remove the fact: I still have choice and power. I am not here to experience my life passively. I want to participate! Own it!

If I want something to change, I am responsible for asking for change or making that change occur. Again, it might not be my ideal, but I have the power to speak, ask, compromise, find contentment in what is handed to me, think outside the box to do so or walk away.

"My life is perfect, no matter how it looks."  - Jackie Woodside 

I have stopped for a moment to ask myself if I really believe that.  My life is perfect, no matter how it looks? I believe I'm a perfect parent. I really do. Not because I do all of the right things all the time.  I'm a perfect parent because I am human and I keep trying. Keep leading by example. Keep loving. Keep showing them how to fix stuff when a person messes up (which means I have to mess up for that to happen). It is not possible for any person to make the best possible choice in every circumstance, so that can't ever be the definition of a "perfect parent." Can I apply this same thinking to my life? That it's perfect, no matter how it looks?

It is. Because I don't let my negative life experiences dictate my happiness or my fulfillment. I don't let them own my head and my heart. I do not let them feed me lies that I have no choice or no power.

Screw that!

I am responsible for my own experience.  And how.
 "Self-Love is about embracing your unity and equality.

It is about knowing that this is your life and that you are the one responsible for your experience of it.  It is about being your own hero. 
It is about creating space for yourself instead of waiting for that space to magically appear. It is about knowing that there is room for you on your to-do list." -Christie Inge (emphasis is mine) 

I'm going to head out and make my day what I want it to be. No matter what is thrown at me. Then I think I might just do it again tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I love this. :)

Glori B. said...

This is a major life lesson that I've been working on for a few years. It hit me like a lightning bolt one one day: no one else is responsible for my happiness. Stopping the blaming and feelings of martyrdom, replacing them with personal strength and empowerment: that's a life-changer!

Thank you for writing this out, Christine!