What I’ve come to realize about myself, is that when I am in a difficult situation, I tend to over-evaluate my part in it.  I rarely focus on the other person’s involvement, or the good part of my involvement, but rather, I focus on what I need to grow, rewire and evolve within myself. It’s much like that lesson we learned as kids, to “worry about yourself;” thus not getting wrapped up in others’ affairs.

The blessing of solely focusing on my part is that I don’t jump to finger-pointing or blaming, as I am more concerned about pointing the finger at myself.  The huge downside of such a myopic view though, is that I often miss the big picture, and discount my positive efforts completely.

Constantly working to grow and evolve is part of every spiritual path, but I believe one of the key ingredients is to also accept and love where you currently are within yourself.  It’s not about fixing, but rather loving yourself whole, and that takes having your eyes wide open to the whole of your life, and what surrounds you.

Years ago, when I was going through my divorce, I spent countless hours beating myself up for all the mistakes I felt I made; insisting it was all my fault.  However, after much time, and therapy, I was able to acknowledge the big picture, and understand that each of us played a part.  What I noticed recently, when my Chihuahua, Permilia, passed, the suddenness of it sent me reeling inside, trying find a ‘why.’ I immediately began filling myself with blame and shame, wanting to repeat that old cycle.  Thankfully, with the Tranformational Coaching I’ve received, I was able to break that cycle and thus prevent myself from severe, self-blaming, tunnel vision.

We all know people who do just the opposite of this; they are quick to assign blame, and often completely blind themselves to their involvement in reactive outcomes.  Obviously, this is not a healthy place either, as there is no self-growth that can occur without awareness. It’s likely this is a cycle that has occurred throughout the person’s life. I have a friend who regularly finds herself on the receiving end of other peoples’ outbursts.  This friend often seems eager to dramatize what the other person did, but rarely acknowledges her part in the situation.  Unfortunately, for this friend, she clearly is fully wired to push and push until she gets the outburst she desires.  It may seem nutty to say that she actually desires an outburst, but, there is something in her that seeks definition through this.  Her ego can then say, “I am a better person than them because…” or, it is an opportunity for her to victimize herself; “This happened to me.” Both insights feeding a belief within her about who she is.

Just to play devil’s advocate; those that avoid confrontation, that’s not healthy either.  I have a friend like this, too.  This friend often lies, or hides information, to avoid dealing with issues in their life.  The fear of confrontation, even if it’s positive, makes them feel out of control, and thus they manipulate situations to encourage the outcome they want.

So, what is healthy?  Healthy, in my opinion, is acknowledging your intentions and your actions, and seeing if they are congruent with the person you want to be.  If you claim you don’t know why a person yelled at you, but your intention in the moment was to belittle them, then there is an incongruence happening within you.  If your intention was to love them, to soothe them, and they yelled at you, then that is the other person’s burden to uncover within themselves.  If your intention was to diffuse a situation, but you ended up pushing a person, then your intentions clearly changed at some point, and they require reflection.  It can be hard to accept our true intentions.  Often times they make us feel ashamed.  Admitting to ourselves that we wanted to provoke another can feel very shameful, but it is so important to recognize where this intention is coming from within you.  Our intentions are reflections of what we believe about ourselves, others, and the world.

The next time you find yourself in a difficult situation, I want you to check on your intentions.  Are they true to what you actually want the outcome to be?  And, if you do act from your heart, are you discounting your actions after all is said and done, to find ways to blame yourself or relinquish yourself? The more awareness you can bring to your intentions, the more you can begin to align them with to the life you want.

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