Marilyn Briant is the author of The Pax Principles - a Red Ribbon Winner 2020, in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards (UK)
It took me a long time to accept I am responsible for my happiness, for my thoughts and therefore my feelings. And that was because I assumed what other people were saying and doing, led to how miserable I often felt!
I believed it was their cruel words and behaviors that were to blame for my discomfort. And I held on to this belief, because it was constantly reinforced by everyone around me. I heard phrases like you make me sad; you hurt me; you worry me; in everyday conversation. And statements similar to these were often the lyrics I repeated as I sang along to songs on the radio growing up.
These words were also often in books or there in poems I read. Or spoken by actors in movies I watched. And I just never thought to question what everyone seemed to know was true.
Realizing The Truth
It was not until I began pursing spiritual awareness that I realized the truth—no-one can make me anything. No-one has power over me, and no-one has control over how I feel.
I am the one thinking my thoughts. I am who is feeling my emotions. I am solely responsible for not giving my power away.
So now, when I get upset over what someone else has said or done, I will question what I am feeling. I will accept it is within my power to perceive things differently. I will go inside and reflect on what is surfacing in me and why.
But this did not happen overnight! It has taken a while to get to this place where I no longer blame others for the way I feel. It is the result of choices I make, of being connected to and guided by my soul energy.
It is the outcome of learning from situations and my reactions—of being open to reminders that encourage me to choose how I want to perceive what is going on in my life. And of forming an intention to live from a deep, inner peace.
Perceiving Other Peoples Words and Actions Differently
One situation I can easily recall from years ago, involved someone with whom I had previously become friendly. She had returned for a month-long visit with a relative who lived close by to me. But when I saw her daily on my walks in the morning, I was surprised she did not seem quite as friendly. Invitations to come over and meet with friends staying with her whom I had met before, or to do things together, were not extended.
Twice when I asked her to join my close friend and I for lunch, she declined for different reasons. However, I noticed she and my friend seemed to spend a lot of time together. Occasionally, I overheard them speaking in hushed tones, discussing plans to meet up. Sometimes they told me about what they had done and the fun they had.
Alone, I found myself wondering why she was making me feel left out. I started feeling uncomfortable, thinking maybe I had said or done something to account for being excluded. I felt hurt I had not been asked to join them.
But when I thought about these feelings, I decided I didn’t want to think this way. I knew it was time to look at my thoughts. And when I did that, I recognized the fear and my old patterns of thinking. Realized I had gone back to believing someone else’s words or behaviors have the power to affect how I feel. Acknowledged I had momentarily ‘forgotten’ that no-one can make me anything!
At first I was disappointed. All the healing work I had done seemed to have fallen by the wayside. My negative childhood imprinting was continuing to affect what I now thought and believed. I had been rejected, unloved and ignored and here I was once again, having doubts about my self-worth.
Accepting No-One Can Make You Anything
But meditation brought me back to the realization that I needed to be kind to myself. To relearn the truth about myself. Here was an opportunity to practice self-love. To affirm I am loved and to perceive what was happening in my life and with others, from my heart.
I had let go of what I learned in my childhood. Rejected the belief that I needed to say or do certain things in order to be liked or loved. And now I reminded myself that no-one has power over me unless I allow it!
Sitting quietly examining my feelings, it felt good to acknowledge this truth. It felt good to accept it is perfectly okay for others to do what is right for them. To release the desire to control someone else’s behavior.
That is what accepting no-one can make you anything means. It is choosing to feel happy my friends enjoyed each other’s company. It is choosing not to feel left out. It is choosing to feel grateful for the time I spent alone, focusing on what is important to me.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on June 24, 2021:
Very true. We think and do what we want but pretend as if we are doing it under the external forces.