Life is like a racetrack. It’s the curves that make it worthwhile.
~Regina Brett, God Never Blinks
I recently sat down and took an inventory of my life. I figured I’m going to have a birthday in a couple of weeks, why not have a “check point,” kind of like the race car drivers do. I thought about all of the things I have done, all of the people I have met and all of my accomplishments up until now. I can truly say if age 42 was my last year here on Earth, I did a pretty good job of squeezing as much life out of my time here as possible.
There is one area though where I feel I haven’t gotten all A’s; my romantic life. From the very beginning, I have felt as if my radar was broken. It’s not that I haven’t had some nice guys in my past (my ex husband is actually one of the best - he is truly a gem and I divorced him – see what I mean, broken radar!) but the majority of them have caused me a tremendous amount of pain. I believe that what we focus on is what we create. If this is the case, constantly focusing on my “broken radar” is just going to attract me more of the same. So, I decided to give myself a “do-over.” I decided to re-write my story. The only reality I can cling to in regards to any of my past relationships is my perception of them and as you know, our perception is our reality. I chose to change my perception, hence change my reality.
I sat down, pen and paper in hand, and wrote down the name of every man I ever dated from high school until now; one night stands and all. (close your mouth!) I also wrote down any man that has been in my life whom I felt has had an impact on me in some way, my Dad, any uncles, etc. I then wrote down next to each persons name every lesson I felt I had learned from my experience with him. My lessons ranged from realizing I want a man to be loyal to me and ONLY me all the way to understanding once and for all that I am ME and someone either likes me for me unconditionally or they can take a hike! If they are intimidated by my success, hit the road! The interesting part was the men who caused me the most pain were the ones I learned the most from. Those who cause us the most pain are inevitably our greatest teachers.
I now know that there is purpose and meaning behind every event. There is a Divine reason for every choice you make, whether it is to be with someone or to leave. We never know the reason at the time, but I have learned to never surrender until I know why I began the journey in the first place. I look for the lesson in everything. If we don’t, it will come back around at some point, stakes higher each time, until we learn it. Learn to look at life not so literally but more symbolically; from what I like to call the 10,000 foot view. From the nosebleed seats you can often see what you cannot see when your nose is on the ground.
By giving myself a “do-over” and re-writing my stories, I now can think of the men in my life with gratitude rather than with bitterness, pain and anger. I have changed my vibration to match that which I would like to attract. If you hold the vibration of anger, you will attract angry people. If you hold the vibration of victim, you will attract situations that make you the victim, every time.
What area of your life do you want a do-over? Re-write your story. Make it a fairy tale. One you can look back on and know happened for your highest good. Your problems are not problems, they are blessings in disguise. How else do you think God is going to get you to see your greatness?
Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.
~Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life
Wondering where “my man” is now,
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and Google+.Its Up To YOU To Decide Who You Are
In the movie, Chalk Talk, there is a priest who counsels alcoholics and tells stories to inspire those who are in recovery. He told one particular story about a woman who came to him after her drunken husband called her a whore.
“Would you be upset if he called you a chair?” he asked her.
“Of course not,” she said.
“Why not?” he asked.
“I know I am not a chair,” she said.
“Don’t you know that you are not a whore?” he asked.
Ultimately, he tells her it doesn’t matter what people call you, you decide what you answer to.
During my years as a public speaker and writer, I have been called many things (some not so nice). Even in personal relationships, especially when they start to go sour, we all have experienced being called a name at some point in time. We all remember the times on the playground in elementary school where we inevitably were called something that brought tears to our eyes. We would run home to our Mom and she would recite the ever popular, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me!” Really? Is there anyone out there who has never been hurt by words or names before? I am not sure who made that one up, but it’s the most untrue statement I have ever heard!
Words hurt. It is easy to get tossed around in your own mind by other people’s opinions of you. When I find myself struggling with whose opinion to listen to, mine or someone else’s, I always come back to one place. My heart. I filter everything I hear and experience through my heart. This is where the voice of truth echoes. Does it feel right what that other person said? If not, then what is the truth? Who am I?
Our world is based on perception and the only perception that is valid is your own. How do you see yourself? If it falls somewhere below the line of “ok,” you may need a little work on your own self image. We do not take care of what we do not value. Begin to value yourself by taking some time for yourself. What do you like to do? What or who makes you feel better? Make a list and do one thing every day for yourself. Define who you are. If you don’t, someone else will for sure do it for you. Make some space in your life for you!
So, what do you answer to?
Truly my own woman,
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and Google+.Once Upon A Time…
“Remember, we all get from the world what we bring to IT through the choices we make about who we are willing to be. Our lives cannot move to higher ground until we do, and we elevate ourselves strategically by being responsible and using our own consciousness as a tool-of-cause and effect. Has it ever occurred to you that when you engage in blaming someone or something that you are missing the opportunity to engage with your own creative powers differently? Differently could mean, for example, an approach that allows you to equate your responsibility, not with blame, but with opportunity. This week when you find yourself moving into blame, through the global headlines, or because of your own internal dialogue see if you can move into a premeditated approach and recognize that everyone has a story worth hearing. And instead of climbing on the blame train, take on the big “R” (responsibility) and begin to create a new story instead of blaming the old one. ”
~Rev. Angela Peregoff’s Blog, May 17, 2012
Several years ago I took part in a 4 day workshop called “The Advanced Course” through Landmark Education. One of the activities we had to do was to think of something that happened to us in our life that affected us in a negative way, write what happened (the story) and then share it with a partner. The rub was that when we shared it with our partner, we had to read our story over and over again for 30 minutes! After telling, and hearing, your story that many times in a row it began to sound ridiculous. What this exercise did for us is it made the story null and void. It made us realize it is just that…a story.
We all have stories. Some are tragic; some are happy. The experiences we have in our life shape our lives. How they shape our lives is up to us. We have an experience, our brain processes it, and then we add meaning to it. It is that meaning we add to it that juices it up. No matter what happens to us, it is always up to us how we interpret the event. The main reason we have such a hard time forgiving is due to the meaning we have added behind the event. “He did that because he mustn’t love me;” “I didn’t get that job because I am a loser;” “No one asks me out on a date because I am fat.” I can go on and on. You know what goes through your mind…I don’t have to tell you.
Don Miguel Ruiz, author of “The Four Agreements” (anyone who has coached with me has read this book!) made it simple:
1. Don’t make assumptions.
2. Do your best at all times.
3. Be impeccable with your word.
4. Don’t take things personal.
What these four agreements do is take the meaning out of your experiences. They get you out of your head and into your heart. Stop thinking so much! You cannot believe everything you think because 80% of it is a lie…fabricated by your imagination and others who over your lifetime have planted ideas in your head based on their own “lies.”
Just for today, listen to the stories you tell yourself. Write them down if you have to. Identify what meaning you are adding to them and then ask yourself these two questions (if you know the work of Byron Katie these will sound familiar!),
Is this true?
Can I be absolutely certain that this is true?
Our reality is based on our perception. Change your perception and your reality changes. It is really that simple. If you want to live “happily ever after” just make is so… ?
Your Cinderella in the Making,
Visit www.ChrisSopa.com with any questions about Chris Sopa International, Inc.