I Have Power + Freedom


Several days ago, I talked about the holes I’ve found myself in throughout my life — the hole of financial distress, the hole of depression, the hole of anger, the hole of fear, the hole of you name it.  To an outsider, I’m sure I looked like I loved my holes, because I spent most of my time in them and no sooner would I find a way out, then something or someone would push me back in, well, that someone was me.  I saw the truth about myself, and I swallowed the bitter pill of self-responsibility for falling in my holes.  I hated the truth, but the truth gave me power over my life that I didn’t know existed.  I was no longer the victim.  I was no longer hopeless.

With the coin of self-discovery, came my awareness of the flip side of the my responsibility coin — the not my responsibility side.  

So, here I would stand in my own hole, taking no responsibility, but if I saw you standing in your hole, I would absorb all the responsibility.  I would feel guilty that I couldn’t bale you out, or I would spend my days thinking of things you should or could do to fix your problem.  Your problem became my problem.

I’m not talking about supporting a friend in distress.  I am a firm believer in the support of others.  We need one another to hold each other’s hands or lend a shoulder to lean on, but it was more than just being a shoulder to lean on for me.  I would take on your problem, whatever that may be, lost job, marital problems, financial problems, and I would try to find ways to fix it.  Then, when the problem was never fixed, I would sink under the guilt that I couldn’t do more, that I couldn’t fix the problem.  I never realized that I was trying to pull someone else out of their own hole, a hole they had to take responsibility for being in.

My biggest problem was emotions.  I would absorb the emotions of the people around me, and let them dictate my emotional well-being, or lack thereof.  I was terrified of emotions, so I usually stuffed my own deep down inside and did my best to numb the bad ones, you know, like anger, fear, or disappointment, but you can’t numb the bad without numbing the good, so most of my life I couldn’t seem to get out what was going on inside.  I didn’t take responsibility for what I was feeling.

Yet, if I thought someone may get angry, hurt or sad, by what I did or said, then I would not say it, because I would feel guilty that I made you angry, even if what I said was true and needed to come out.  I would hold it inside and ignore the burning of my own anger or hurt, because I didn’t want to make you angry or hurt.  Then, over time, stuffing myself to spare someone else’s emotions, began to leak out in acidic resentment.  I was dying for the sake of others when it wasn’t even my responsibility to do.

When I understood in the deepest part of my heart that others are not my responsibility, I experienced the greatest freedom in my life.  I was set free from the bondage of controlling things that I have no control over.  I chopped off a chained anvil from my neck, and just like that, I could breathe, I could love, I could fly.

Now, when I have something that I need to say or do that has potential to make someone angry or hurt, I assess my purpose for saying or doing it, and if it has to come out for my own health, then I say what needs to be said, and remind myself, other people’s response is not my responsibility, that’s on them.  I remind myself, I’m only responsible for my own behaviors, not others.  

I am free to allow others to take responsibility for their lives, and I have the power of control over myself.

For some people healthy boundaries are normal.  It’s a no brainer, but for me, they were revolutionary.

With the coin of self-discovery I was given power and freedom, both needed to soar to the highest places my heart always longed to go.

3 thoughts on “I Have Power + Freedom

  1. Pingback: Change Your Life With Faith + Works - The Wounded Dove

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