Years ago when I reconnected with my faith and made my first efforts to reclaim my life and direct my future down a different road, I was encouraged to confront head on something that I had spent my entire existence trying to avoid. For the first time in my life, I was forced to look in the mirror and evaluate with an open mind the factors that had led me to my current state of affairs. You see up until that very moment when I reconvened with God, my views on the direction that my life had taken had been shaped solely by the circumstances that I had encountered along the way. I was no different than the average man who wanders aimlessly blaming the world for all of his problems. And the problems in my life were abundant. My past had taken on the resemblance of a mid-day soap opera. And I was fully comfortable in playing the role of the hapless victim of bad relationships, unfortunate circumstances, etc. I didn’t want to see that I had contributed to the series of events that had led me to where I was…that was just too painful for me to absorb.
But thanks be to God and His incredible mercy, I was offered the gift of wisdom that allowed me to step back and view things as a neutral observer would. I remember standing in the shower the day that my life changed forever. As the hot water ran down the back of my neck and shoulders this amazing burst of insight hit me like a ton of bricks. In my head I heard the prompt… “You know Matt you’ve been through all of these painful, dramatic events during the course of your life…what is it that’s common to them all?” The answer to that question was clear as day – it was me. I was a part of each and every one of the stories of heartache, failure, and despair that I had to share. For years my story had centered on my position as the recipient of a difficult life that was certainly not of my own choosing. But in that moment I knew with complete certainty that I had attracted every single outcome that I had experienced, good and bad. My past had been nothing more than a series of events leading to the development of the image of the life that I had prescribed myself. And my future was going to most certainly unfold in the exact same fashion.
I shook with joy as I contemplated the opportunity to take responsibility for my actions and ask for the forgiveness that I so desperately needed so that I could move forward as a new man. Could life really be this simple? If I changed my perception, could I truly dictate the outcomes of my future? I had spent so much time and energy worrying about things that were out my control. Now it was as though God had handed me the keys and said, “Here, take your new life for a spin…just remember that what you create and encounter, good and bad, they are all the byproducts of your thoughts and actions, so choose wisely.” I had never felt so empowered and free. It was as though the world’s greatest mystery had just been revealed to me. And all this time it had been right under my nose. It was such a simple concept. So why had it been so difficult to attain?
It’s very hard to understand why we as humans struggle so mightily to accept responsibility for the negative outcomes in our lives. After all, most of us don’t have any issue with taking ownership of our victories. We delight in those moments, even if the majority of the credit for our success really should be attributed elsewhere. But we will fight within ourselves relentlessly to shy away from accepting responsibility for the shortcomings and failures in our lives. Perhaps we see them as a threat to the flawless image that we are working so carefully to uphold. So rather than look in the mirror, we blame people, we blame circumstance, and we even blame God when we should be directing our focus within. After all, we were a part of every downfall, whether the outcome was fair in our eyes or not, we were there, and in that we must take ownership.
Take it from me, if you walk around pointing the finger at others and taking a passive role in your life as a product of circumstance, you will continue to receive less than what you desire from the world and those around you. When you choose to view yourself as a victim, you commit to receiving the unfortunate future of a victim. But when you empower your will to create the life of your dreams by accepting the idea that you have within you the ability to manifest all that it is that you desire, you liberate yourself from the limiting mindset that is so very characteristic of this world. If you actively take charge of your life, owning responsibility for all outcomes, you will free yourself from the weighty burdens of your past and open doors for a promising future that is, of course, of your own creation.
Don’t play the blame game. Whether you appreciate your surroundings or not, you are where you are as a result of you. And you can spend your time beating yourself up over your mistakes, OR you can get on with living, inspired by the notion that if you can create a less than average life for yourself, you can also create an extraordinary one. It’s up to you where your future resides – you choose the destination.
May God Bless!