Personal awareness, and personal growth is a never ending process as we are expanding and shifting as we move forward on our own unique personal journey.
The greatest moment of “ah hah” came to me while working on my own self-alignment while searching to connect to my own joyous life. The life changing concept for me was
YOU CAN ONLY CONTROL YOU.
This sounds like such a simple concept, and it really is. When you can grasp, live and apply this concept your entire life can shift to one of JOY.
Learning to be aware of your thoughts and then to control how you think, is a powerful skill to have. It is a step towards creating JOY in your life. We all have the power to change the thoughts that we think, and to ultimately control how we feel. This is the beginning step to allow you the greatest transition forward in your life. That transition is to take your thoughts back.
Part of the growth process towards awareness and understanding of the intentional thoughts we think, is the greatest shift away from the inner voice of judgment of what others think about us. You cannot fix, change or help anyone else. I am going to give you an exercise now as we begin looking at how the thoughts we think can affect us.
Begin with your statement. For this exercise you will fill in the blanks as you read through this next paragraph. Write whatever you feel as you read through each statement. Your statement, if you were explaining why you can’t live in
JOY one hundred percent of the time:
“When I am around ____________________ (you may fill in with mother, father, brother, sister, teacher, friend, etc.) and they do or act ______________________________________ (you may fill in with yells, tells me what to do, is mean to people, complains about everything, etc.) I can’t be happy because they are making me feel __________________________. (Fill in with angry, mad, sad, hurt, etc.)
Now let’s look at the concept that You Can Only Control You, and how does that statement look and FEEL?
When I am around someone who acts a certain way, which makes me feel a certain way, I can’t be happy because they need to change how they are acting so I can feel good. If You Can Only Control You, you can’t change how someone else acts or feels. This is such an important concept and idea I must repeat it one more time, so you can hear it and really feel it. If you can only control you, you can’t change how someone else acts or feels. It is not your job, nor your responsibility to do or say anything to change where someone else is in the moment. To realize that is “their stuff” or “problem” and not yours is key.
Now go one step further, and realize by trying to change or help or fix something for someone else you actually dis-empower them. You cannot really fix or do anything for someone else, you can only realize that is where they are right now. Give them their power back by letting them be where they need to be in the moment. You can always remove yourself gently from the situation that is not a good feeling place for you, instead of engaging with another. If you can stay in your space of what is you and not allow another to project their feelings or ideas onto you, that is the only way to really help anyone. The more you are in your body and can feel happiness the more it will begin to transfer to all those around you. It is amazing when we no longer have to jump in to fix or say something to make someone feel better, how we no longer take another’s power away from them. This is the concept of letting everyone be right where they need to be in this moment without having to change them so we feel better with how they feel or act.
An example is when a child is told no and is very upset and crying, so many people want to jump in to tell the child to either stop being upset or to try and make them feel better. Either way is really dis-empowering and also teaches the child they have to act and feel a certain way so other people around them are not made to feel uncomfortable. Yes, there are instances when it is appropriate to remove the upset child from the situation, but that is not telling them not to feel that way, just they cannot act that way and stay in the situation. The idea of telling the child not to be upset and cry, because they are in this moment feeling anger and sometimes grief for the loss of whatever they were told “no” about, is not allowing them to sit with their own emotions and work through them on their own. Perhaps next time it is taking the child aside to allow them to work through their emotions and then try and talk to them about it once they are back in a neutral space.
We as a society have been taught to try and change our behavior to make everyone feel better. As soon as we can learn to stay within ourselves and only allow ourselves to dictate our actions, feelings and thoughts we will all learn to stand in our own power to be joyous.
For this Holiday Season, make the choice of intention. Intentionally be aware of what your thoughts are and your actions as you are around loved ones. Give the gift of awareness, by starting with yourself. Do not take things personally, for most misbehavior in any form is a reflection of the pain or hole that the other person is trying to fill. Keep that in mind before you allow another’s words or thoughts to spiral you down to a place other than the JOY you will hold in your heart for all of those around you. Remember that you have the power to allow other people’s stuff to come into your space or bounce back off with a laugh or a smile.