Sunday, April 12, 2015


One of the toughest things for most people to "get" is something you hear a lot in TOOLS.  What does it really mean to take responsibility for you?

In the past 60 years we are only now uncovering how our brains truly work.  Dr Richard Carlson wrote a book called, You Can Be Happy No Matter What.  It's like the laymen s version of the work performed by Dr. Aaron Beck and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  

The premise is simple: every thought you have is chosen by you.  Thoughts, beget emotions...literally.  On a scientific level neurons are firing that are your thoughts, these trigger the release of certain chemicals in the brain known as hormones or neurotransmitters.  We experience these things as emotions.  Emotions drive our behavior.  Our thoughts ultimately control our behavior.

A quick story.  I have 2 friends who are girls and they, um, girl fight?  Ya know, they are always talking crap about the other behind their backs but they are the best of friends really.  Both of them come to me to complain about the other.  One day one said, "She just makes me so angry when she does this." Understanding Dr Beck and Dr. Carlson what she really meant was "I choose to be angry because I don't like her actions." Emphasize that "I" when you read it...doesn't it sound selfish?  It is. (FYI, you shed that ego, there is no more "I")

So I said to her, "Don't give her that power over you."  You have the choice to not react to what she is doing.  By reacting to her in that way you are doing what she wants and she's gaining power over you."  My friend looked at me, then stared off into the distance like she was thinking. Then kind of changed the subject and I didn't think twice about it.
Months later my same friend said, "You are so right, I can't give her that power and it's been so liberating ever since you told me that. I do have the choice to not be affected by her. Thank you."  I said, "No problem," and that was it.

When people understand they have a choice in their reactions, what they think and how they feel, it can be extremely empowering and liberating.  A lot of people rebuke this entire idea and say, "NO NO NO, I didn't want this." And put their fingers in their ears and stomp their feet like a child...well that is their choice as well.

I got an F my junior year in high school.  It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Here is another quick story on how this can be so liberating.  I went to a retreat a few years back and the leaders cursed like sailors constantly.  I thought it a bit odd but I curse a lot so I didn't really care.  The 2nd day there was a lecture and he brought it up. "You may have noticed I curse a lot and I don't give a fuck what you think. Why? If you are the type of person that gets offended by what someone else says you probably get offended all day everyday. Think about it, the only person in all the different scenarios who is suffering, is you! So I curse for a reason, to teach you something about yourself. You are letting others control how you feel and until you accept that as your problem and not theirs, you will suffer."  From that day on in the retreat people cursed constantly, it was hilarious to me.
Take responsibility to everything in your life.  

Every thought and feeling you have is generated by you.  Maybe not consciously, but that is why you are here, to consciously change your unconscious ideals.

Now, do I condone bigotry and hatred. Absolutely not, those only hurt everyone.  For example, the laws Indiana and several other states have passed recently are terrible and they are stripping people of freedoms they deserve.  This isn't about how one feels anymore, this is physically forcing a change on someone and I think it's terrible. Moreover, if people who condone and endorsed these laws lived by the principal that NO ONE can affect them, they would have never needed these laws.  It's a pure sign they aren't taking responsibility for their own actions.   

No comments:

Post a Comment