How Did I Get Here?
You’ve invested in a dream that you want to now let go of. Sometimes it’s imperative, necessary, important and time to let something go; to walk away, start anew, release those things that prevent us from growing, becoming a better person, healing and forging ahead to succeed in greater things and the only way we can save ourselves any further heartache is to end those things which no longer serve our best interest and the interest of those whom we love and hold dearly.
However, sometimes we’re so intricately woven into the fabric of our own circumstances, situations and story that we’re unable to see whether or not what we have is salvageable or not.
When married couples come to me with the same considerations, the first thing we have to look at is, “How did I get here?”
When I falter or fail, miss the train, lose a friend, lose out on an opportunity –if I only focus on the surrounding circumstances or the role that others played, I’ll never garner the understanding, knowledge, wisdom or experience necessary in preventing my next failure.
If all I am willing to recognize is the role that others played in bringing about the problems and difficulties I might be facing, holding others culpable while neglecting to accept personal responsibility for my actions and any consequences resulting from my behaviors, it will be very difficult for me to respect myself and respect anyone else. Accepting responsibility also enables others to respect us.
However, if I keep my focus on how I handled myself, presented myself, dealt with the circumstances, worked my tasks, collaborated with those involved, and perform an open and honest introspection, without bias, prejudice and justification, painful as it may be, I will usually discover that most of the time, no matter how wrong, how terrible, how awful anyone else was, no matter the role of anyone else, I was at the helm of my own collapse.
When we can identify our role in the areas of our lives that hurt us, broke our spirit, crushed our dreams and tore our lives apart; when we can identify our own areas of weakness, the triggers that can send us into a downward spiral, recognize our shortcomings, our faults, our wrongdoing, and those fears we work so feverishly to hide –when we can perform a thorough and honest investigation of our entire life, from the cradle to the present, asking only the most important questions, “How could I have prevented this or that? What was my role in this apart from anyone else? What did I allow that I shouldn’t have? Did I lose my temper and do things out of anger? What did I say or not say that could have greatly compromised my prime directive? What occurred that shaped my character, making me whom I’ve become that I now need such a complete and total makeover.
Who do I need to forgive? We first forgive ourselves but not without a fervent desire to change those unsightly habits and patterns that brought us here.
It can be very difficult to review our own lives through the eyes of righteousness. Then beyond this, admitting to another and ourselves the many ways in which we were wrong.
One’s ability to admit they feel powerless, helpless and broken is one of the greatest strengths we can possess. The ability to be the first to see our role in where we erred, faltered, made poor choices, handled things badly, acted inappropriately, behaved in an unsightly fashion and ‘sinned,’ if you will, is the first step in becoming a person of excellent character but what solidifies us as people of excellent character is then taking the necessary steps to make amends where and if possible, correct ourselves, change our direction, possess the understanding that if we had to do over we would have done it differently and sometimes doing to these things comes with sacrifice.
We tend to believe that a person of excellent character is a person who never fails, never commits a foul, never sets out to wrong anyone else, never willfully performs any wrongdoing, always makes the right decisions, always has everyone’s best interest at heart, never lashes out, never unhinges or lies or covers up a lie with a lie. That’s where most miss it.
As a people, we are all subject to sin and have and do, daily, but what makes a great man or woman; what makes an honorable man or woman isn’t that we retain some supernatural ability to live as a perfect human being, but the supernatural insight and understanding to know where we went wrong, along with a conscientious effort to avoid making the same mistake twice, determined to begin a concerted action against the triggers and temptations that compromise our success in becoming the man or woman a loving and Holy Father would be proud of.
If you don’t believe in a supreme Creator, then ask yourself this, if the world truly knew your motives, reasons, agenda, purpose, actions, and feelings; if all things performed in secret, privy only to you was revealed, uncovered and made known, would a right-thinking, noble, honorable, community of people with great character and integrity be proud of your rhymes, reasons, decisions, purpose, and deeds?
As a Christian, the first thing I often have to ask myself, ‘Who’s agenda is it anyway?’ Am I serving only myself and preserving my ego, protecting my pride in order to appear supreme or am I serving the Lord? Who am I out to glorify and impress? Do my actions glorify God? Did I stoop to conquer a brood of vipers in order to fit in, appear popular, exalt myself above the rest or did I bow to serve the One who truly loves us all in spite of ourselves?