In the past, I allowed negative relationships to catapult me into places, situations, and mindsets that did not honor my spirit and even worse, prevent me from reaching personal and professional goals. Much later in life than I care to admit, I began to pause and reflect on my level of inner peace (or frustration) after leaving the presence of others. I noticed a negative vibe, which wasn’t good for my mindset. The majority of my companions (as a young adult) wore the scarlet letter V for victim and were constantly bitching about life, but taking no ownership in the mess they helped create. (be aware of those that blame everyone else for their problems, we ALL have a part). Sadly, back then, it was more natural for me to hitchhike on that mental joyride. Misery certainly loves company, I needed new friends. My mother used to say, “I can do bad all by my damned self!”.
Positive thinking can’t take root and sprout in an overwhelmingly negative environment so I suited up for battle, ready to move forward in life by any means necessary. I don’t believe in coincidences so when I read that we become like the people we hang around the most, I knew it was meant for me. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. My mind slowly blossomed like a rose welcoming the sun at the crack of dawn. I was finally open to receive the education needed to make a difference in my future. The lessons created scar tissue, but my life is different today because of them! I simply put on an ace bandage and kept it moving!
Changing my environment was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I needed to let go of the toxic, emotional baggage OTHERS brought into their relationships with me, that they weren’t ready to let go of. It wasn’t as if I didn’t have a history of my own, but I was done allowing mistakes to dictate my future. I take the message from the mess and hit the high road. At 50 years old, I still follow this method of thinking, paying attention to my emotional state when I leave the presence of others. I then act accordingly and have no problem cheering them on from afar.
I love this quote by Iyanla Vanzant. It’s a constant reminder not to feel guilty when I take care of myself, which thankfully replaced the ingrained habit women possess of trying to change other people.
Don’t Play Victim to Circumstances You Created – Unknown
Posted by: Lily Daub May 22, 2017
Our lives are lived through seasons. The season to learn, the season to grow, the season to be silent, the season to speak up, the season to observe, or the season to act.
Whichever season we are in, we are reaping the harvest we planted with whatever intention we used to plant our seeds. If we planted our harvest in anger, we should not be surprised to reap a hostile and resistant harvest. If we planted our harvest in joy, we may expect to reap a harvest of blissful crops.
Our seasons may provide for wonderful opportunities to build the harvest of our character. It may provide for important opportunities to aid us in continuing to peel back the layers of ourselves and invite us to dive deep into the waters of introspection. However, we can only appreciate our harvest, if we are honest with ourselves in what intention we planted our seeds with the circumstances the season of our lives provided.
There may be many seasons when the harvest does not produce what is needed, but before cursing life, we need to think back to the days of planting and remember what kind of state of mind we were planting in.
I was adrift on an ocean of helplessness for seasons before abruptly changing course. My sons were the life preservers needed, making me question all decisions made up to their existence. Their heartbeats compelled me to examine the faulty logic which caused me to initially drift off course in young adulthood. I’d given up on life, guilt and shame had bullied me into submission. I’d made poor choices and dysfunction made me believe I should suffer the consequences. It was, after all, what I deserved for acting (or reacting) without thinking. My punishment was cruel and unusual, a life sentence of hopelessness. It was impossible to change my circumstances.
I will be forever grateful that my boys ignited a wildfire inside of me. I can remain a victim of circumstances if I am the only one impacted by that decision. My children, however, did not deserve to suffer from my self-inflicted punishment. I found the courage to shift my mindset and gave all I had to changing my legacy, one day at a time. They were worth it, and along the journey I finally realized SO WAS I.