In May, I wrote about how You Are The Problem and today I am writing to say that if you are still suffering… then you are still the problem. Charming, right?
At first, this might seem like quite a blow. I understand. Feel free to take a moment to catch your breath… and put down that hammer you were going to throw at me. Like last time, I am not saying that you are the only problem – certainly spouses sometimes suck, children occasionally act like they were raised by beasts, coworkers do once in a while revert into petty thirteen-year-old versions of themselves, politicians drop the ball now and again, and even perfect strangers will toss a wrench in the machine of your daily life if given a chance. When that happens, it certainly feels like they are the problem, but they are not.
You are the problem.
You are the problem because that is the only way that you can become the solution you need.
While I appreciate the desire one might have to control the world, the ability to make everyone else act right so that one’s life can run like the well-oiled machine one fancies it is. Bad News Alert: It’s not going to happen. Of course, as I wrote that it’s not going to happen, I remembered that I don’t know everything. So, instead, let’s go with this:
Regarding superpowers, gaining the ability to make everyone on the planet act right… well, it hasn’t happened yet. At least as far as I know, it hasn’t happened yet. If it has, I want to talk to the slacker who inherited this gift about their priorities (Note to self: Tea Party, Focus on the Family, Home Owner’s Association, Bank of America, People who don’t spay and neuter their pets… ).
There are things going on every single day in the 9 Environments of You that suck. Those things have the potential to turn your life into a less awesome place to live… some of them, a straight up painful place to live. Luckily, you have some choices about how to deal with those things’ suck potential:
- Stand by and watch while those things suck the life out of your life. (see also: victim)
- Fight all of the things so they learn who’s boss. (see also: conflict)
- Subtly manipulate all of those things into giving you a false sense of control. (see codependency)
- Try to orchestrate the just right bump to the head with the hope that it will result in aforementioned superpower. (see also: self-destruction, delusion, wasting of time)
- Quit screwing around… and take back your power.
If your heart is set on Choices 1, 2, 3, or 4, I have nothing for you. Working with Seeds & Weeds Coaching won’t help you one bit. I am what some might call vehemently opposed to playing with you and your bullshit “Poor me. I’m being victimized by (insert today’s excuse)” drama… even if you throw good money at me. My clients count on me to tell them like it is… and these kinds aren’t usually into that, which dramatically reduces the possibility of making a change. I only want to make change.
If the rest of you are ready to quit screwing around and take back your power, it is my desire to support you with that. This means dealing with the YOU side of aforementioned Things That Suck… because YOU is all that we have access to while we work together. Your spouse, children, coworkers, politicians, and strangers aren’t reading this blog, and neither are your parents, for that matter. You want the change. You have the power to change the situation by changing you.
Once more for clarity: You can only control you. Period. That makes you the solution to your problems, even when others are involved.
It’s time to stop spending your precious life resources – energy, time, money, sanity, etc. – on the other party (or parties) involved in the Things That Suck in your life. We have to look into these Things That Suck and find your power position. What are your needs? How can you get your needs met? This is how we take the suck out of Things That Suck.
For example, my wife recently pointed out that I sometimes lose my cool with other drivers while operating my motor vehicle. I was (honestly) surprised to recognize that when I’m running late, driving my car turns into one of the “Things That Suck” in my life. After leaving on time for an appointment, I have had my timeliness prohibited by the piercing screech of a low fuel warning, humans without the desire to drive the speed limit, emergency vehicles, forgotten items that had to be retrieved, school zones, Black Friday, getting lost, and on and on.
All of the sudden, I’m bitching at people who can’t hear me and riding tailgates of cars my insurance company would rather not purchase. My emotions surge when I don’t get my way and I HATE being late… like really, truly, deeply loathe it, so I end up driving carelessly and torturing the people who are trapped in the car with me. All of this, over things that I can’t change (see a partial list in the previous paragraph). I had to find a way to stop giving away my power to circumstances that are beyond my control.
So far, I’ve come up with two solutions: 1.) Release the need to be on time. 2.) Add some extra time for “surprise” delays to my commute. To be honest, I think that being late is disrespectful and it is important to be to be on time. I am, however, willing to release the need to be timely in the rare situation where something truly exceptional happens – ice storm, childbirth, zombies.
Yes, that means I had to add surprise time to my commute. How do you like these big girl pants?
At first this was a burden. I was annoyed. Why can’t people just act right? Why? Why? Why? Then, I heard the echo of myself screaming why and why me and realized that it sounds a great deal like that sounds a baby makes (waaaaaah)… and I decided to get over myself.
The truth is that I live on a magnificent planet that I am blessed to share with other human beings and that means even sharing my life with them, even the roads. If I “should” be able to get from one place to the next in 40 minutes without incident, then I’m setting myself up to be powerless every single time I get on the road with only 40 minutes to spare. The world is full of someones somewhere having “incidents” that impact my life, for better or worse, and I have to allow for that to keep my power.
My commute drama is just one example. It’s almost back to school time which brings morning drama to lots of households. For others, it’s the clutter. What other battles, conflicts, or chaos are you dealing with on a regular basis? What are the Things That Suck in your life?