Three little words that transformed my relationships and ultimately my life

Many years ago, I was married to a woman with whom I had two handsome sons to, who then left and seemed determined to make my life a misery. She used guilt trips, manipulations and lies and it made me so angry. I then went and met another woman who also seemed determined to make my life a misery as well and proceeded to cause arguments that lasted hours, to pry into everything I did, accusing me of all sorts of things that I hadn’t done. These two women made me so angry that I felt like I wanted to hurt them back and cause them all sorts of pain.

Did you notice anything about that previous paragraph that struck you as particularly odd?

I could have gone into considerably more detail, but that would have been unnecessary as that paragraph made the point I am trying to open your eyes too.

I’ll start giving you some clues. Many years ago, I went to a talk by the late, great Jim Rohn. It is a speech he has basically repeated in one version or another over the years and one that I still listen to regularly. As he spoke, he talked about his first mentor, Mr Earl Shoaff. He was recalling how Mr Shoaff asked him to draw up a list of all the reasons he was not on the way to being wealthy by the age of 25. Once he had drawn up the list, he handed it to Mr Shoaff, who then looked at it and stated “Mr Rohn, there is one problem with this list. Your name isn’t on it.” That was when it all hit him, and the lesson I received about the three little words that transformed my first paragraph, my relationships and ultimately my life.

You see, In my past, I allowed other people to dictate how I felt, where I was going, how I thought, how I acted and how I reacted. It was a shitty way to live my life by delegating everything I could control and the only things that I could truly control to another person.

No-one and I mean no-one, can make you feel a particular emotion. They cannot make you think a certain way, they cannot dictate how you act. They can only do that if you agree to what they offer and react to it accordingly.

So, let me write that first paragraph again, this time with the truth inserted into it. I will italicise the sections that have been modified so you don’t have to read back and compare to the first paragraph.

Many years ago, I was married to a woman with whom I had two handsome sons to, who then left and seemed determined to make my life a misery. She used guilt trips, manipulations and lies and because I lacked the tools and processes to deal with the situation and her behaviour, out of ignorance and fear, I chose to lash out with anger, rather than dal with her in a mature fashion with the right tools and processes that would then take away her ability to manipulate and control me. I then went and met another woman who also seemed determined to make my life a misery as well and proceeded to cause arguments that lasted hours and that would have only lasted seconds if I had the self-control, the mentality and the fortitude to effectively diffuse her efforts so it was only one ineffective person trying to argue instead of two, to pry into everything I did to which I could have removed if I understood where her motivations were originating and if I had the communication skills to deal with the situation, accusing me of all sorts of things that I hadn’t done which I could have allayed her fears and created an environment where she felt secure enough to be vulnerable and voice her fears so that we could deal with them effectively. These two women created multiple situations where I constantly chose to give them control of my emotions and my actions rather than being an effective partner who was able to deal with the situation properly. I unfortunately chose at the time to have thoughts that I felt like I wanted to hurt them back and cause them all sorts of pain. I realise now that at the time I was choosing to be ineffective and to minimise the amount of control I had over my emotions, my actions and myself. Ultimately, I sold myself short to myself and my ex-partners.

Can see how now, there is a ring of having control over every facet of the interactions, once I chose it. And what where the three little words that transformed my life?

I AM RESPONSIBLE

I became responsible for my emotions.

I became responsible for my actions

I became responsible for my reactions

I became responsible for my direction

I became responsible for my mentality

I became responsible for my direction

I became responsible for my destiny

Now, no-one can make me feel anything, save what I choose to feel. No-one can make me think, react or act save what I choose to. They can influence, which is a more subtle control, but they cannot make me do anything. My life is dramatically improved because I was willing to answer this question.

My question to you now is, and I say this from my heart, knowing where I have been and where I am now, and wanting nothing but the best for people, Who is responsible for your thoughts, actions, reactions, emotions and ultimately your destiny

Sometimes, we need someone who cares to be brave enough to ask the question that needs to be asked. I am both silly enough and brave enough to ask that question. The ball is now in your court. What is your answer?