Lately there have been a lot of people who have crossed my path who have expressed that they are currently experiencing something unpleasant in their life because they feel they have to. Be it an abusive relationship, a harsh boss, conniving co-workers, friends that rarely return their calls – just hanging in there; biding their time until the situation resolves itself. I understand this thought process, as I’ve been in situations like these before, but inevitably they all ended with me saying, “I wish I would have just done this sooner.”
Do you feel trapped in a certain area of your life? Maybe it’s financial; you feel you can’t make a move because of your finances? Maybe you feel overwhelmed; thinking about how you may have to move, or dramatically change your lifestyle? Maybe it’s fear of retaliation if you stood up for yourself? And sure, likely you are investing all your current energy in simply keeping yourself going so that you can endure another day; anything beyond that seems impossible.
For a moment I would like you to visualize your life without this burden. Are you able to? Can you truly free yourself from it? Would it be an immediate break, where you never interact with the person or community again? Would it be a process? Maybe there would be lawyers involved? Maybe you would be fleeing? Can you visualize your life when it is all said and done? It’s alright if you can’t just yet, as perhaps it’s packed deep away inside your mind as a painful fantasy that you will have told yourself you will never experience. How was that? What kind of life are you aligning yourself to without this burden? What are your new found freedoms? Are you happier? Healthier? Or did you visualize yourself starving underneath the city bridge, alone and emotionally broken?
You see, in your mind’s eye, you are already living that life of freedom. You are living it each day inside your mind, and that is what helps make the current situation so intolerable. If you were not able to see your life beyond that situation you would never feel angst about it, right? When we tell ourselves that we “have to,” we have likely already told ourselves that there are no options… but there are always options. Always. Always. Always. It’s what we allow ourselves to see; it’s our fears and our beliefs that keep us stuck.
I have two friends currently in abusive or ‘dead’ relationships that they feel they can’t leave because of their financial situations. That is a horrible heartache to experience! Thought – your partner is no longer emotionally connected to you; I believe that is called a roommate. Why can’t you have an awesome roommate? Really, if you had had an abusive roommate in college, wouldn’t you have given them the boot? Or happily relocated your futon to a new address? Why is it different now? Oh, yes, emotions. Perhaps it’s the feat that you will be alone in life? But really, we are all alone in life, and how we choose to fill our lives is how they are filled; be it with joy or misery.
If you are dead set on remaining in a lifeless relationship, then what pact are you making to resuscitate it? And what commitment is your partner making? Because relationships are two people, and you both have to be all in or it will never work. All in! Insisting that you learn to listen to each other, respect each other, and trust each other.
A boss that is such a jerk you don’t feel you can set boundaries without being fired, or feeling the wrath of Khan? I think the first thing to improve this situation is to separate yourself from your boss’s emotions. People that treat others poorly clearly have personal issues that they can not manage. Recognizing that, we put a protective bubble around us to keep their poison from eating at us. Allowing their emotions to be theirs, and our emotions to be ours; taking back our power.
Telling yourself you ‘have to,’ is telling yourself that there are no options. It’s also telling the Universe that this is what you are aligned to, because it is what you allow in the definition of your life. One of my favorite questions that I learned from my transformational coaching programs is: What would I do if I were my bravest self?
Choose you. Choose your life. And definitely choose your own path. Nothing is happening to you; it is all happening for you. Change your perspective, and your menu of options will immediately expand.