The most important reason our lives go wrong is that we give away our power – to Others, to Life, to God. We cease to take responsibility for ourselves.
Or we say that Life is Unfair. Or that God has let us down. Or that we could be ok – if it wasn’t for our Partner, our Parents, our Children, our Employers, our Doctors, etc, etc.
The first step – if you are blaming others for what has happened to you – is to let it go. Whatever people have done to you happened in the past and its over. Go through a process of forgiveness and decide to make a fresh start.
When you forgive and let go you stop living in the past. That’s the next step. You can now stop wasting effort on regrets, recriminations and ‘if onlys’ and your energy level will start to rise (you will feel relief first).
The next step is to stop waiting for Life to get better. That isn’t going to happen until YOU happen to Life. To do that you are going to have to break the habit of procrastination, take risks, try something new and start being more honest with people. One of the important laws of life is that you only get out of it what you put in.
Side by side with that step you stop making excuses: ‘That won’t work’, ‘I don’t know what to do/how to do it’, ‘People won’t like it’, ‘It’s too scary’, ‘I’m not attractive’, ‘It’s too difficult’, ‘I don’t have time’, etc. Instead of making excuses, do that new course, start talking to people about the help you need, say ‘No’ to people who drain you and make some more time for yourself. Experiment with new clothes, hair-styles, make-up. If you are shy, then look for people who can teach you some social skills.
By now you should be well on the way to doing the single most important thing that helps you get your life back: living in the present. Not the past and not the distant future. Now. That means focusing your attention (aside from the odd ten minutes you spend planning for the immediate future) on activities that satisfy you today. It also helps if you regularly practice an awareness technique that keeps you grounded in your body in the Now. We teach people how to do this in Reverse Therapy but other approaches – Yoga, Breath training, Tai Chi, Meditation, Qi Gung – can work just as well.
When you discipline yourself to stay in the moment you are also letting go of the Headmind chatter – worries, regrets, blame, guilt, day-dreaming – that kept you locked in the past and paralysed your will.
You can learn how to stop listening to that parrot on your shoulder and start listening, instead, to yourself: your emotions, your desires, your needs, your passion, your inner drive toward love, truth, connection to others and self-fulfilling work (or play). For more advice on how to kill the parrot see Mark McGuinness’s blog.