Sunday, October 10, 2010

Seeing My Failure in the Success of Others


I learned from a very young age that I had no control over my life. That what happened to me and around me did not come from within me but was the result of what other's did or didn't do.

I spent a lifetime looking at the world around me from this perspective.

I did not see the world as my "oyster"

I saw the world as everything that I never had and never would have.

Anything that I did have was a fluke because I had worked "hard enough" or done something "right enough" but I did not believe that it was long lasting or something that I could repeat.

I could not take credit for any success and constantly demeaned myself and any good thing that was in my life. I expected good things to be temporary, fleeting and as though the good feeling of accomplishment was a bad thing because that was my life experience...

...that good things may come my way but don't get too excited because it will not last.

Someone or something will take it away from me.

I saw all "good things" in my life as having come from someone or something outside of myself and often this included being able to manipulate someone else into providing me with my solutions by living in that state of perpetual victimhood.

And there was always someone ready and willing to rescue me from myself and "fix" me or my life and reenforce that I was incapable of learning how to take care of myself and be my own best resource.

I saw myself as "powerless" and I felt hopeless to create conscious change in my own world, my own life. I saw the world outside of myself as both my problem and my solution.

I felt helpless to be the "captain of my own ship" or the creator of my own universe.

Because I'd been taught that I was not "good enough" could not do things "right enough" and somehow was just not "enough"; that my world, my dreams, my hopes, my "being" was defective, corrupt; that my life was not in my hands.

I developed a dependence on people, places and things outside of myself to shape my life and tell me what to do. I often struggled with making even the simplest of decisions - so I often did made no decision, took no action - while my life passed me by.

Consequently, when I saw others in this healing journey making progress and moving forward in their own lives finding peace, joy and happiness - I couldn't celebrate with them because in their success I saw my failure.

Instead of seeing hope for something that I could accomplish for myself I saw all that I did not - and believed that I could not - have.

Today then....

When I see another's success...I intentionally catch the negative thoughts of jealousy and resentment about what I never had, don't have and never will have and the rumination about my own history and pain where I live in that chronic state of hopelessness....and choose to look through a different lens; a lens of hope.

And suddenly I began to see what I could have.

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Patricia Singleton said...

I think hope is the difference between being a victim and being a survivor. Hope that things can get better can be a big motivator. Being a victim is living with hopelessness.

Melissa Mashburn said...

Very good post. I believe living in a place of hope gives us a great deal of power.

Michelle said...

Again Susan your posts come at the right time to allow me to challenge and broaden my own thoughts that are locked into a negative pattern of (disbelief,jealousy,hatred,hurt,dis-empowerment,anger all of those words that have dominated my life)Everyday as a new day starts lately for me it always ends up being a negative day of challenges that I just don't want to deal with....But it is HOPE and STRENGTH that I always look to the future with, I know that it might not happen on a particular day but I know now that with HOPE and STRENGTH I will reach my goals of discovering me and my new life.......
Thanks Susan I always look forward to your posts.
Cheers Michelle

Susan said...

Patricia - I'd have to agree with you on that one!

Susan said...

Yes Melissa! This is the core of that currently fashionable word "empowerment" be powered and enabled to be self directed in our healing journey:) We must first have hope to believe we hold the power to create the change we desire:)

Susan said...

Good to hear that we struck a chord Michelle! And yes - we can have hope and the hope turns into action that creates the change! Catching those negative thoughts is where it all begins! Kudos to you for doing the "hard work" of this healing journey!