When I was a young adult a very wise person gave me a loving jolt, a call to wake up if you will. I was caught up in my own suffering, complaining about how terrible and hard life was for me. I had it with all the injustices I witnessed at work, in the world and was deep in the blame game of why I was so miserable. Of course, it was all someone else’s doing. It was the government, it was corporate America, it was the American culture, it was…. Well it was anyone and anything’s fault but mine. I could not see beyond my suffering to see any other options. Suffering was just life and it was all because someone else was doing something that stepped on my toes and kept me from being where I wanted to be.
Well, this wise person finally had enough of my suffering and mindless musings. She abruptly interrupted me and asked: Do you think you are the only one? You cannot possibly think you are the only one who has a hard time in this life. Everyone struggles with something and you are here sounding like you are special and the only one who ever had it rough.
Not only was that a shock to my system, but it shook me out of the bitterness I had been holding on to. She was right about many things, but the one thing that it really made me look hard at was the fact that yes, I did think I was special. I thought I was the only one who saw these things and I wanted to put a stop to it. I realized my suffering, my musings about the injustice of it all were mindless and would never solve anything. The reality was I thought I was so special that my complaining would get someone else’s attention and they would do something to change it and save me once and for all. Ironic. While I sat there and complained that it was everyone else’s fault I also deeply buried a belief that it was also someone else’s responsibility to help me and to stop these terrible things from happening to me.
In moments such as these, we all have to make a choice. We can continue to complain and suffer and hope someone comes to our rescue or we can see that the ownership lies with us. We are not special we are not unique in this world filled with differing opinions. We all suffer in our own way and it is by our own doing, not anyone else. We are all looking for solutions to the same underlying problem. We all want to feel a sense of freedom to be in this world, but we have allowed someone else to stop us. Read that line again. It is we, the individual who have allowed someone to stop us. No one can ever make you think or feel a certain way. Choose to be in this world. Choose to see your own ability to feel and think for yourself. And finally choose to see it all starts and stops with how you choose to see yourself and this world.
Thank you to the wise woman who jolted me awake.