I recently listened to a podcast about taking responsibility for your emotions, about not blaming other people or situations for how you are feeling.
This is crucial because when you blame something or someone outside of you for how you are feeling, you are giving that person or thing the power to make you unhappy. Whether you realise it or not, you are playing the victim, you are letting the person or the thing control you emotionally. You've given your power away.
It's a bit tricky because sometimes it really does seem as though something outside of you really is to blame, and it's really not your fault and there really is nothing you can do about it!
I was in one of those tricky situations... The reason I was listening to the podcast was because I was feeling victimised by being woken up by my baby at night. I was looking for another perspective, instead of blame, a reminder on how to deal with it emotionally.... Because to my tired brain, it was her fault I was being woken up! I mean SHE was waking me up, I'm wasn't doing it to myself!! But thinking blame thoughts doesn't feel good and it just makes life harder...
After listening to the podcast, it was clear to me that her waking me up is something I cannot control (see my last blog on the inner child!), but I can control my reaction or my response to that situation. And this is key... I can control my reaction or my response to that situation.
The podcast also mentioned a question... It said that when you are all pent up and totally about to lose your rag with someone or something, stop and ask yourself this question... What's the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?
That really struck a chord with me, because this question has been asked many times in different ways; The Conversations with God books say What would love do now? And Teal Swan (an inspirational You Tuber) says What would someone who loved themselves do? Essentially they are all saying the same thing, and asking of you the same thing, which I know is very, very powerful indeed.
So I tried it.
That night, little bubba kept me awake for a 2 hour period in the middle of the night. I went in and out of her room again and again rather unsuccessfully trying to settle her and teach her to go back to sleep on her own.
Usually, after about an hour I would be losing my composure, feeling so over it, feeling like a total victim, complaining and cursing and ready to totally lose it - pure knee jerk reactions - but this time is was different.
Every time I went back to my room after trying to settle her, I would ask myself that question over and over again... What's the most loving thing I can do for myself right now? What's the most loving thing I can do for myself right now? What's the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?
And oh my gosh.... Magic. It was beautiful. Just the act of asking the question had me delving into a deep feeling of love and protection and patience every time. I didn't react! I didn't even get pissed off! I felt serene and totally composed! The answer was always, "The most loving thing you can do for yourself is stay calm, stay consistent". So that's what I did, and I felt as though I was supported and loved throughout the whole saga, because I was there for myself and giving to myself and caring about me FIRST, and then I had the capacity to deal with her, because I felt complete.
It's a difficult thing to describe, so instead I invite you to give it a go. and experience it for yourself... Use one of those questions, whichever feels the most natural to you, or make up your own version, and practice using it to make decisions or to support you when you are getting triggered by people, or by life.
It's so powerful. So, so powerful. But you really have to focus and dig deep and go for it. Usually when your are in poor-me-victim mode, you don't feel like doing anything to help yourself, you just feel like complaining and bitching about what's wrong. It actually takes quite a lot of strength to convince yourself to try this at those times, but the results can be life changing.
Susan Harrington-Baker is an International Inspirational Leader, Teacher and Intuitive from Christchurch, New Zealand.