and take possession of your own life…
Everything you do in life is your choice. Everything. So remove all the language from your vocabulary that contradicts this reality. “I have to get up at such and such time..”, “I must do what they say..”, “ I can’t do that because..” “I don’t have the talent, skill, time, to…”, “You make me feel sad, happy, excited, angry…”
All of these examples are common in our day to day language. But it is important to note that they are not our language. After all we inherited these words, symbols, and patterns from our culture/environment. We were educated with repetition and common usage by parents, teachers, and other spellbound peers. I’ve heard it argued that language is the very fabric of reality. You can see this as true when you realize that language is the building blocks of thought and informs the way in which you perceive things. Therefore you have enormous power with your words. Not only the words you say but what words you think. If you replace all the “I must, I have to, I can’t, You make me, etc.” with I choose to … because … Suddenly you have reclaimed your mastery & control over all your actions, which was always the case anyway.
Ex: I choose to get up early and go to work every day because I want to be able to buy what i want in the hours I am not working. I choose to make dinner every night for my family because I want them to be healthy and eat good food. I choose to sell everything I own because I want to be free from the weight of guarding so much stuff (which is what houses are for).
This practice makes it clear that you are in fact in control of what happens in your life. You are not the victim of what life does to you because you are always in control of how you respond. No one can make you feel or do anything. You might counter this by saying, “ But thats not fair! where was my choice when my father left me as a kid and caused me incredible pain and anger? How could I control the fear I felt by being abandoned?
If you follow this thinking to the end, you find that the suffering inflicted by this comes from ideas such as; “a good father would not do that.” Therefore the anger is generated from this thought which is justified by this morale judgement. The fear comes from ideas such as “what will happen to me if I don’t have the support of a father?” You may notice that these are both analysis of others behavior or of the situation as being bad and unfair to you. These thoughts are what lead to the suffering of anger and fear.
If we were instead to recognize the needs we have that are not met by the fathers actions; need for acceptance, safety, support, belonging, community, connection, etc. We can then empathize with ourselves and address these unmet needs directly. Maybe by searching for other people/ communities that would be willing to accept and support us. This is a decision on how to use our energy which would certainly lead to a completely different result than directing that energy into anger at the injustice of the situation.
Our reaction, particularly the thoughts we think, is what dictates how we feel. When we are told that good parents should do this ___ and then we encounter a situation in which that does not happen, we can feel that the world has been unfair to us and we have no choice but to feel angry, sad, afraid, etc. But this same stimuli (a parent leaving in this example) could be reacted to in many different ways and lead to completely different results.
It is true that we do not choose are parents, where we are born, and the environment and conditions that inform us as we grow up. We are constantly involved in a greater process and yet we can always choose, in any moment, to be the masters of our own kingdom by taking extreme ownership over our decisions, actions and reactions.
Books to read on this subject: