“When You Point a Finger, There are 3 Pointing Right Back at You!”
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Having a life and/or career that you don’t love is something that seems to be a common, universal problem for people all over the world. Being a victim sucks, it’s a cop out for being in denial, not taking control over your life or refusing to making decisions for yourself. Being able to step up isn’t just a name of a great movie. I know how this all works and feels because I used to be an expert at being a victim, I played the role well and man was I the master at it to put it nicely.
Looking back on my live now, I’d say that I used to be a victim because:
(Notice, I used the word “I” at the start of all of the above statements. I am trying to point out my shift of blame.)
My list could probably go on for a few pages and some of what I wrote above is a little difficult for me to share with you, but because I made a very clear and conscious choice to look at this a few years ago, thankfully somehow, I am still alive to talk about everything. When I decided to stop playing the victim role a few years ago, my life changed for the better and because I stopped playing the victim role, I was able to take responsibility for my part, my choices and see that I was the cause of what happened in my life. This flipped my world upside down and inside out. I’m so grateful for the wake-up call and for the opportunity to come to peace with my past so that I could move forward finally!
Although, it is never easy to admit our weaknesses, I don’t mind sharing this with y’all because when I told myself that I was done being a victim. I started analyzing decisions and things that happened in the past. Some things happened because I made the wrong decision or I let them happen, some I couldn’t control because other people did something to me that I couldn’t prevent. I learned to come to peace with every bad thing that has happened to me.
One day, I decided to finally take charge and control over myself and stop living in denial. I didn’t want bad things to continue to show up in my life, no matter the reason or excuse and I also didn’t want to keep on dwelling on my past. I decided to work on myself and work on letting go.
I learned about a very cool thing from a “life coach” that I let mentor me back in Monterey and although the relationship ended badly and didn’t last, he taught me a few key things that I was able to do to feel better.
One lesson that I’d recommend to anyone is this, take out a few pieces of blank writing paper. For me, I used printer paper because it was the easiest to find and I didn’t to think too much about this part of the process. On a single piece of paper, I wrote a heartfelt letter to everyone that I wronged in my life over the years and even to those that had brought me sadness, pain and suffering.
Within my letter, I wrote about how I wished that this note would find them well in mind, body and spirit and that I was writing to them to tell them that I’m sorry or that I forgave them for EVERYTHING that happened when we knew each other. I wished them a continued life of peace, love and happiness and then placed a stamp on most of them and mailed them out.
I wrote letters to the exchange student that sexually assaulted me in the living room of our family home while my Mom was in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up. I penned letters to family members, to exes, to old friends and even to those that some would say shouldn’t be forgiven. Doing this exercise wasn’t anything about them, it was all about me. Let me tell you, I felt so much better doing it and knew that anyone that received my letter would see that I was looking for peace from the experience. I tried my hardest within those letters to pour out my heart, to not be too specific about actual events or situations and instead I made the chose to stop being a victim.
Something about this process, helped me open-up, to feel better and stop being in denial. From then on, I made a pact that I was going to take full ownership over my life, my decisions and that which I could control. I’m done being a victim and instead see myself as a survivor.
If you are in a place similar that I was in, I will plead with you to consider doing this for yourself. Keep in mind that you don’t have to really mail out letters to every single person you write one to, just to ones that you feel in your heart should get one and of course ones that you still have a mailing address for. For those you don’t mail out you can simply, rip them up, throw them away, burn them or come up with another creative way to dispose of them. I just hope that you find some relief, some peace and acceptance in things that you can’t change, but now tomorrow, it’s a brand-new day with lots of opportunity to shine, to love, to learn and to not only survive but to thrive.
Don’t punish yourself for things that happened to you and choices that you made in the past. What’s in the past is just part of that, the past.
Thankfully, somewhere along my journey to today, I was able to figure out that some of the bad things that happened to me were directly caused by making bad choices or ignoring “red flags” or warnings that I had in my gut. I choose to move ahead even though there were oftentimes very obvious signs that I was making a bad decision. They call this having “hindsight” and it’s something that is learned over time and from fucking up. The key is to fuck up less and once you know yourself better, respect what your heart and gut feel and are trying to tell you is your true self, so that you don’t keep repeating mistakes.
Try to do what you can to take ownership over things that you regret and bad choices that you made that may have affected other people and your relationship with them. It’s never too late to say “I’m sorry.” You need to take action and start with baby steps so that you can get to a better, more fulfilling place where you can be at peace with yourself. No one is going to do this for you and it’s a journey that you may have to go on a few times in your life. As long as you make a commitment to yourself that it’s a real priority to take full responsibility over yourself, your choices and your actions, then I’d say that you are on the right path!
LESSON Four: Take Full Responsibility for Yourself at ALL Times