Have you ever just stopped to think about what role you play in your own life when it comes to your emotional well-being? We often overstate the damage that’s done in our lives when we find ourselves crumbling. We eagerly seek to place blame on people and things that are often almost blameless. As we grow to try to be better people, it’s imperative that we are always learning how hot fire is. After sticking your hand in it one or two times, by the third time your temperature gage should be perfectly calibrated if not closely accurate. Repeatedly blaming others and “things” for your poor personal choices is a vicious cycle that can leave you jaded and miserable and unable to see the forest for the trees. On the other hand, when you start with the I in why you’re repeatedly doing the same things over and over, it is then that you can start to pull yourself up out of the quicksand that you’ve been swimming in and start to build the life you want and deserve.
Let’s start with a common story: You date the same kind of person. Tall, short, rich, poor. They may look different, but at the end of the day they are the same person–someone not invested in you at all. But you want them to be and you allow them to lie their way through a pseudo relationship with you all while they greedily siphon from you what you’re offering them by allowing them in your life–whether that be physical or emotional or a combination. You ride and are ready to die? But for what? For nothing. For fire.
Your friends have become damaging in one way or another. You are always ready to run with them when they call and are there for them to hold their hands when things fall apart. When you need them, there is always an excuse as to why they couldn’t make the time for you. You start to feel resentment because you want them to be there for you like you are for them. This is a fire that’s lit by outsiders but by allowing people to treat you like this, you are adding gasoline to it.
You absolutely hate your job. You picked a job or career that you thought would be fulfilling and surprise, you’re not happy. The rational thing to do would be to move on if it does not get better but for some reason you’ve decided to hang on to no avail because the money is too good or other people think you should have said job. Time is passing and each day you grow more miserable. You’re playing the role of your own arsonist.
This list of examples could go on and on and on. The point is is that there is a common thread in all of these life situations. There is an obvious linchpin. Once you stand back to examine them, it becomes as clear as day: the I. You, the person that keeps choosing the broken potential mates. You, the person who’s trying to force themselves into a career that keeps the soul bankrupt. You, the person who allows their friends use them at their convenience.
Still not clear? Replace the “your” in the examples above with “I” and “my”:
I date the same kind of person. Tall, short, rich, poor. They may look different but at the end of the day, they are the same person–someone not invested in me at all. But I want them to be and I allow them to lie their way through a pseudo relationship with me all while they greedily siphon from me what I’m offering them by allowing them in my life–whether that be physical or emotional or a combination. I ride and am ready to die? But for what? For nothing. For fire.
My friends have become damaging in one way or another. I jump up and run with them when they call and are there for them to hold their hands when things fall apart. When I need them, there is always an excuse as to why they couldn’t make the time for me. I start to feel resentment because I want them to be there for me like I am for them. This is a fire that’s lit by outsiders but by allowing people to treat me like this, I am adding gasoline to it.
I absolutely hate my job. I picked a job or career that I thought would be fulfilling and surprise, I’m not happy. The rational thing to do would be to move on if it does not get better but for some reason I’ve decided to hang on to no avail because the money is too good or other people think I should have said job. Time is passing and each day I grow more miserable. I am playing the role of my own arsonist.
Whenever you feel the urge to point to finger at someone for your problems, be sure you start with yourself first. Granted, we can definitely find ourselves in unhealthy situations that do not benefit us in the slightest because someone brought it to us and placed it at our feet, but if you are repeatedly unhappy because things are continually not going well in your life, it might be time to examine yourself and what you are doing to contribute to the madness.
It’s an easy scapegoat to look at someone else and say they are the cause of your problems, but if you keep inviting havoc into your life–by not addressing whatever is causing you to act a certain way or make certain choices, then you are actually the cause of your problems, not the person or thing you invited in. We could all do Iyanla’s job if we were willing to put in the work because the answer to how to fix your life is to start with yourself. When you invite someone or something into your life that will inevitably give you half assed results, don’t be surprised when you get them. You can’t expect a full ride on a half tank of cheap gas. When you let someone hang on to your soul and drain you, you say to them: This is what I feel I deserve. Please, watch me burn.
We have to start with ourselves. We have to be honest with ourselves about our flaws and work to try and fix them. You owe it to yourself to start with I. Many of us have the privilege of choosing our significant other, our job, where we live and how we spend our free time. If you’re unhappy in any area, start with I and try to examine why you keep sticking your hand in the fires your start for yourself. Before you blame your 3rd degree burn on an arsonist, don’t forget that you may be the person who poured the gasoline and struck the match. In most cases, that person or thing is only there because you invited them into your life to watch you burn.