[In this series we examine the importance of the words we use and how changing our vocabulary can change our minds, giving us opportunity for transformation. More articles can be found in this series @ Tools:Words]
photo by Artful Magpie
I was recently working with a client with Lyme disease. At one point he made the statement, “I created this situation.”
This statement really struck me. I asked myself, “Did he really create the situation?” and more importantly, “Is it helpful to worry about how a situation was created?”
Sometimes it is obvious that we created a situation. When I choose to take a certain job then that is something I have created, but when I am sitting in my living room and a baseball smashes the front window it is much less clear.
Even if you are willing to argue that I did somehow create the situation of the baseball breaking the window, in the short term it doesn’t do much good worry about it. The window will not fix itself. I need to take responsibility for the broken window, clear up the glass so that nobody gets hurt, and fix the window to keep the elements out.
One of the pitfalls of looking at the world through the eyes of “how we created” a situation is it can impede the healing process. Working out how something happened in order to prevent it from happening again can sometimes be helpful, but if our healing is postponed until we work out the answer it will not do us any good.
Often in the course of our healing process we will not be able to pin down exactly why we are the way we are. Either an issue relates to a unique point in history that will never happen again, or the system is protecting us from something that it would be unhealthy for us to uncover. If this is the case we are in a stalemate where the system won’t move forward without knowing why AND we are never going to find out why so we will never heal.
For me, it is much better first to respond to what I am responsible for in a situation and not to become entangled in the emotional trap of wondering why or how I got there. I can honestly assess where I am and where I would like to be.
If we take the example of my client’s Lyme disease, at this point it would do him little good to worry about how he got it. More than likely he will never again be in a situation where he is exposed to the Lyme. Instead, when he looks at what is he is responsible for he can move forward by assessing how he is feeling physically right now, understanding the lifestyle choices and environments that cause a flare up of the symptoms, and what he can do to remove the Lyme from his body.
By focusing on what we are responsible for we are able to leave behind the emotions of what was and move to the energy of working with what is.
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