Every moment that you spend upset, despaired, anguished, angry or hurt because of the behavior of anybody else in your life, is a moment in which you’ve given up control of your own happiness.
It’s part of life that you are going to be hurt by others – but you don’t have to be a victim. You can own your response, and own your happiness. When you say “He makes me feel (furious, rejected, etc.)” – you give him power over your life. When you say “She makes me so mad” – you give her power over your life.
It’s easy to say, “She chose him over me, and broke my heart” or “He betrayed me, I’ll never trust again.” But when you say this, you give that person the power over your own happiness! Yes, they hurt you, but you don’t have to become their victim.
Most of us have had episodes where we’ve been victims and episodes where we’ve owned our happiness. Sometimes we felt powerless and helpless, unloved and rejected – victim. A victim will become bitter and negative. A victim will lash out emotionally and do and say things that are later regretted.
It does take strength and resilience to maintain control of your emotions and bounce back… but you can do it. Here’s how – but before you start, it’s absolutely essential that you do not start blaming yourself or treating yourself harshly for decisions you made. Just observe, and learn, to the best of your ability:
I highly recommend meditating for at least 15 minutes before you do the following exercises, and then again for 15 minutes immediately after – this will help you regulate your emotions, see things from a different perspective, and respond, instead of reacting.
How To Own Your Happiness!
1. First, accept the situation. There is a problem (don’t deny it!) but honestly and deeply, own it. You did not choose to be divorced, maybe, but… what was your role in it? DO NOT blame yourself – but rather, try to objectively see your role in the situation. Were there things you felt you should not have said or done, but you did it anyway?
Try to see things from the other person’s point of view! The moment you own your choices and actions, is a winning and powerful moment for you because then you realize, that both of you played a role in the situation and you cannot place all the blame on the other person – especially the blame for “making you feel” a certain way.
2. Find the lesson. Adversity is, for better or for worse, a much more impactful teacher than success. What did you learn about yourself in this situation? Are there choices you made that you knew you shouldn’t have (for example, the choice to get into a relationship, or take a job, or zig when you could have zagged)?
3. See the solution instead of the problem. The problem is basically the residue of past choices and start thinking about what can go right, based on the decisions you make RIGHT NOW. For example: you got fired, which opens you up to a possible career change; or you got divorced, which opens you up to amazing new friendships and relationships. In this moment, you have a choice.
4. Choose a better-feeling interpretation. Instead of, “I can’t believe I got fired, I put so much into that job!” (anger/resentment) re-interpret the situation with “I appreciate that my boss had a difference of opinion about my performance, and I can use that as a positive in my next job!” (optimism/empowerment). Instead of, “I gave her everything, and she still left me!” (bitterness/hurt) re-interpret the situation with, “We stopped communicating what was important. I thought she needed one thing and it turned out she needed something else.”
It’s not an easy transition from victim to owner, but the sooner you start to train yourself to own your choices and make better-feeling choices right now, the sooner you will start to create an upward spiral of positive thoughts, and better choices.
What’s really amazing, is that many of your problems will disappear because you stop seeing them as “problems” start seeing them as valuable teachers or they will resolve themselves. As your thoughts change, your behaviors change, and as your behaviors change, your circumstances will change.