THE LAST WORD
When was the last time you fell doubled-over to the ground in utter agony-- I'm talking about the mental kind, the helpless, paralyzing terror of having lost a lover or a 14-year-old childhood dog that just got run over by a car? Do you remember the hell of it, the gut-wrenching, open-gaping-wound feeling that invades you, the inner voice that screams, "Why? I don't understand!'' And it always takes so long to heal. . . .
What about the lesser angst of daily life, the everyday stress and anxiety of berating bosses, belligerent mates, alarm clocks, freeways and bills? It's a constant onslaught. Life involves suffering. Where does it all come from? What's the point? What can we do about it?
We think, we speak, we act. The sum total of these thoughts, words and deeds make up each of our ever-evolving characters. If you talked a lot as a kid, it may be easy for you to approach prospects. If you spent most days in the quiet embrace of a good book, cold calling may not be your cup of tea. We are what we think, say and do.
Some people excel in certain areas, others in others. Some cower under the same circumstances that others flourish in. We're all different except in one special way. We all have stuff-- pet peeves, weak spots, neuroses, things that make us nuts.
Well, guess what? We cause it all ourselves, all our sufferings, every one of them. No exceptions.
While this may seem like a complete BGO (Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious) to many of us, it carries a profound message about empowerment.
If we caused our sufferings, we can change every one of them by changing the behavior that caused them in the first place. Almost too simple, right? Yeah, sure. Simple, yes. Easy? Not by a long shot.
Here's a blueprint:
Step One: Take responsibility.
Whatever you don't like about yourself, own it. You created it. Accept it. It's there. Until you change it, it won't leave. Acknowledge it. Bring it out. Shed some light on it. Don't let it hide.
Step Two: Seize the pain.
Ask yourself, what is the root cause of the suffering? When you identify it, lock onto it. Embrace your dark side, welcome those shadows. They're gonna' be there regardless of whether we pay attention or not, so let's grab `em.
Step Three: Take action.
Do something different. Reflect upon what caused the hurt last time and try a new tactic. There's too much truth in the adage "insanity equals doing the same thing day after day and expecting a different result tomorrow." Get off it. Let that old pattern go. Break it up and bust loose. Dance with your devils. Live large.
Step Four: Reflect.
Did your new and different action work? Are you more pleased with the results? Would it work again? If not, start over. Until it does.
Pain can be a monster motivator. Out of suffering comes desire-- desire for change, for the suffering to end. Latch onto that suffering and let it drive you. By changing the way we behave today, we shift our tomorrows.
Don't let fear hold you back. Tell your demons to put their boxing gloves on, move around a little bit, bob, weave, jab. When you take one right in the kisser, watch the stars spin, let the ache sink down to your core. Then wind one up and knock that sucker into the next millennium.
You have the power. --RG
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Reprinted with permission from Upline, The Last Word - November/December 1998, 888-UPLINE-1, http://www.upline.com