Photo by Brandon Couch
I don't know about you, but I've had my share of therapy sessions. There have been many times when I just couldn't seem to "figure out" life on my own. Often these sessions were helpful and over time, I was drawn to coaching as a more effective way, for me, to get to the heart of things. One way to differentiate the two is that coaching is about motivation to start where you are and move forward while therapy looks for a resolution to past problems in order to reach future goals. I turned to coaching because I was tired of hashing over what I remembered, which was simply my "take" on a given situation and not always "true". It made me feel more stuck.
As I look back, however, I realize that I wasn't always using the information I recalled to my advantage. Instead, I was using it to find and assign blame. Neither coaching nor therapy can be useful if we don't use it to work our way through our resistance to assuming personal responsibility.
As long as I was able to lay blame on my parents or other family members, husband, teachers, and sometimes, even complete strangers, I didn't have to "own" any part of my life. It also meant that my personal growth was stalled. I am almost embarrassed, at times, when I look back and remember how much I tried to pin my failures on others' shortcomings. The more I whined about others holding me back, the more my personal situation fell apart.
This is a great way to take the focus off our own work. It feels easier to make someone else responsible for our misery, but that's a false sense of security. In the end, we all have to face our issues and be accountable. Actually, that's when it becomes more simple and less complicated. We can't change someone else. We can only work on our own challenges and make a difference in the way we chose to live our lives and interact with the world.
I still reflect on my childhood and general history. I still don't like some of what I remember and I also see how I might have misinterpreted some situations. Even when I have an unpleasant memory about an event or series of circumstances, I practice seeing what I learned from it and even being grateful because it all played a part in getting me where I am now.
Photo by Evan Kirby
As long as I assign fault to someone else and hold onto resentment, I have no chance for progress. It's like trying to accept a gift with a closed fist. When I open up and choose to take what I can and figure out the healthiest way for me to play my part, then I become unblocked and my life grows and expands and becomes limitless and spacious. This is what I wish for you.