Do you take credit for making yourself happy? How about when you are feeling angry or hurt or rejected or abandoned? It is much easier to blame someone else than to be responsible for your feelings.
Margaret Paul Ph.D. writes in Huffington Post, that it is our response to some else’s behavior that creates our misery or our inner peace and happiness, not the other person. I wonder how many reading this will be willing to accept that much responsibility. Actually, I propose there is nothing quite so self-empowering than adopting this point of view.
Fifty years ago, psychologist John Weir and his wife Joyce (leaders in the human potential movement) figured out something very important. They realized that our emotions were caused by our perceptions of incoming data through our senses, data which comes through various filters from our upbringing, etc, and from these perceptions, we make meaning. Yes, the Weirs proposed, we are reacting to our perceptions of someone’s behavior and not directly to their behavior.
When we are really able to really grok this, we can have control over how we respond, rather than react immaturely to what others do. And truthfully, how we feel about ourselves is directly related to how we have behaved. If we take the high road, gracefully respond as an adult, (realizing that others are only talking about their own perceptions, not about us), we will feel good about ourselves. If we don’t maturely and gracefully respond, we will feel terrible about ourselves, so want to blame someone else for having caused this.
Realizing that this degree of responsibility was not so hard to understand intellectually, but hard to employ in our everyday relating, for 40 years the Weir’s invited groups of people in for one-week intensives so people could get this paradigm shift into their bones. Live Conscious is the new incarnation of the Weir’s work.
At a Live Conscious Retreat, you will learn that there is an out there out there, but all you can know about it is your perception of it. You will understand that no one is talking about you, they are only talking about themselves and their perceptions of you. They can’t ever really know you. So you will become much less concerned about what other people think.
You will learn how to use language in a way that reminds you, constantly, of this reality and help you stop reacting and start maturely responding to the people in your lives that you care about. You will learn this as an actual practice where every time you speak you remind yourself that this is all about you.
You will be able to embody Margaret Paul’s suggestion that “all my feelings really are my responsibility”. . . and then feel less victimized, more empowered, respond maturely and appropriately to others and, thus, feel really good about yourself.