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By Barbara Rose, PhD
How can tragedy be empowering? Because it brings you to the moment of truth, the real truth, the truth that ultimately sets you free. Through the darkness of tragedy, you reach the dawn, which is the moment you decide it will never be this way again.
This is the moment when you change the entire direction of the rest of your life because you refuse to go back to where you have just been.
The fact is that many people, most people, have to endure untold heartache and tragedy before they wake up, before they realize they have a choice. The direction of your life is in your hands alone. Blame for where you are in this life cannot be placed on any other. When we stop blaming and start creating the vision we want to see fulfilled, we then feel authentically empowered from within.
As I said earlier, I did have ample opportunity to take care of what I needed to, but I thought laziness and stagnation was so much easier. Obviously I thought wrong. Personal stagnation breeds self-hate. It feeds on negativity. It seeks injustice. It does not carry the exuberance, passion, and joy that accompany the search for new, better, and brighter paths and the striving toward fulfillment of your deepest dreams. Taking your life into your own hands and turning it around entirely, all of your own choosing, is an extraordinary adventure. Yes, it is scary. Change is always scary. But it is also thrilling. And after a while, you get used to the new, better way. And the old ways become as uncomfortable as shoes that are three sizes too small.
So why do millions and millions of people suffer beneath the dictates of their own false views or the dictates of others who they wrongly perceive as holding their happiness or even their very survival in their hands? Why must you undergo any unpleasant circumstance that is not of your own choosing? Why, I ask you, are you holding on to something or someone, or some position in your career or in society that is not bringing you absolute joy? Who, besides your very own self, tells you that you don’t have a choice?
This is your biggest lie to yourself.
You do have a choice.
I tell you this boldly, straight to your face: Each day that you hold on to this person or situation that does not bring you joy, you choose it as your reality. If you let go, if you walk away, if you no longer allow that person or situation into your life – then you are free! And you know what part of your life this pertains to. Did you ever have a job you hated? Did you ever just hang in there because you needed the money to pay the bills? Did anyone ever suggest that you simply get another job? Were you afraid to let go, in spite of your misery? You held on to your unhappiness because you bought into the belief that you had to. You believed you didn’t have a choice, right? Well, suppose you got fired from that job. What then? Would you die? No, you’d get another job. Perhaps a better one! Perhaps one in which you made enough to buy a new pair of shoes after you paid your bills.
Here’s the point:
If you are not happy, then your situation is not in your best interest.
You can come up with every rationalization known to humankind, but the bottom line is that it starts with you.
Change can begin only when you decide it can.
Excerpt re-printed with permission from the book Individual Power: Reclaiming Your Core, Your Truth and Your Life © Copyright 2001, 2003, 2013 by Barbara Rose, PhD All Rights Reserved. Published by The Rose Group (April, 2003) ISBN-10:09741457X.