Who creates the suffering in our lives? When we choose to walk in pain, we know discouragement and suffering will follow. There are no short cuts to circumvent our pain; we must look it in the eye and ask, “what is this pain good for?”As simple as that may seem, very few of us will ever do that very thing. Most of us would prefer a more dramatic and self-destructive path. We are continuously identifying with our pain bodies. We get caught up in the heightened awareness and arousal that our suffering brings us. The more unbelievable and seemingly catastrophic our story, the more justified we feel in our pain. “Poor us!” we say, hoping maybe someone will step in and clean up the byproducts of our self-sabotaging behavior.
Driving forward but looking backward
“All your past except its beauty is gone… and nothing is left but a blessing.” – A Course In Miracles
We seek our past to define who we are. We take in all the opinions and experiences into a roadmap of our fate. Who we are and how we feel about ourselves is merely just a thought. When we have ideas of self-pity, unworthiness, or victimhood, we see ourselves lacking something. We no longer measure up to the rest of society. A Course in Miracles refers to this breaking off from the whole as “separation.” As we continue to see ourselves as less than, the divide between us and our connection to God becomes vast. We build a story to substantiate our brokenness because of something that happened to us. When we refuse to let go of the past, we drag what happened yesterday into the future. We continue to experience more of the same old misery in the present.
Things are not done to you; they are done for you.
“Every situation properly perceived becomes an opportunity to heal.” – A Course In Miracles
Sometimes our story remains emotionally charged. Telling the story over and over may take some of the sting out of it. Retelling our story, however, can become very tricky. We begin identifying with our story. We become the things that have happened to us instead of being who we are. We label ourselves as “a child of,” “a survivor,” or “a victim.” These labels supplant our identity, and we soon find ourselves acting out a scripted role instead of expanding beyond all definitions. When we take on a label, we immediately begin limiting our unlimited potential.
However, if we took two individuals into an empty room with nothing more than a pencil, and asked them to describe themselves, what would a “victim” mentality create as opposed to a “creator” mentality? Would the creator outline a beautiful design for their life? At the same time, would the victim eventually destroy themselves with their own criticism? What does it take to move from victimhood to empowerment? How can one show up to live in the freshness of the present moment of unlimited potential while dragging the old dark perspective from the past? What would be required to flip the switch from creating the same old heartbreak to creating a vibrant present?
You CREATE every moment through your thoughts
“What you see reflects your thinking, and your thinking but reflects the choice of what you want to see.” – A Course In Miracles
Very frequently, we find ourselves in discussion circles explaining or justifying our behavior because of our past as though it exists as an unchangeable sentence. We never focus on our untapped creative powers to produce a new outcome. We do a tremendous injustice to ourselves by perpetuating the story of our suffering. We put our energy into strengthening it by saying, “poor us.”
The apex of universal pain can be surmounted by jointly placing our belief and power into the ability to create a different outcome. We become very self-aware of our words and our actions because most people are not interested in breaking from their past. People use the past to justify their habits, their judgments, their lack of forgiveness, and their choice not to be supported instead of empowered.
Blame and judgment will always cause pain. There remains an enormous amount of energy dedicated to being right rather than being happy in the world. Many of us choose to place our trust in our suffering rather than placing our creative energy into healing.
Real power is focusing on what you want not on what you don’t want
“It’s not up to you what you learn, but only whether you learn through joy or through pain.” – A Course In Miracles
Therefore, when we want to change, we must focus all our creative energy into what we do want to create. There remains no value associated with tapping into the past to predict our future. Our new life begins now. By accepting the responsibility for our destiny and owning what we have created remains crucial to our understanding of who we are. Knowing this, we must be honest with ourselves and those around us. Do we truly desire to change? Do we want to become empowered and to work at our happiness? In contrast, are we trying to maintain our habits and addictive behavior, expecting a different outcome?
When we default to others to save us and to join us in our identification with our pain body, we become our own victimizer. The responsibility begins with us and ends with us no matter how much we choose to blame everyone else. Who will rule the day, the victim, or the creator?
“Mental health is inner peace.” – A Course In Miracles