You are not your circumstances. You know that, of course. Intellectually. Yet sometimes it's easy to lose track of things in the day-to-day application.
It can be disappointing, this thing called life. Here you are with all these hopes and aspirations. You think you know just how things are supposed to work out. Then something happens. And things begin to go a little differently than the way you'd expected.
For most of us, when our hopes and expectations don't match the results we see, that fact gets our attention. Sometimes, it can seem like things have gone wrong. Sometimes, it can begin to seem that "you" are the undesired circumstance.
Whether it's a health condition, a relationship or financial crisis, or even a bad sweater **, identifying yourself with the problem does not help. It can, however, keep you from moving forward.
The simple truth is this. You are not your circumstances. You are you.
** A note on the bad sweater. Just last weekend, while flipping through the channels, I came upon an episode of What Not to Wear just as Stacy London was discussing with her guest the fit of a particular sweater.
"You're absolutely right," said Stacy. "The proportion of that sweater isn't right. But it's a sweater. You're reacting to the sweater as though it was you. It's a sweater! Pick a different one."
Good one, Stacy! The young lady was indeed reacting to her circumstances as though they were her. Fortunately, she was also receptive enough to hear Stacy's perspective and correct her thinking. She went home in a much more empowered state.
You are not your circumstances. What you are is your state.
When I first introduced this concept in Landscape With Spirit, I used the analogy of the three states of the substance water: solid, liquid, or gas. Depending on your intended use, any one of the three states could be exactly what you're looking for. None of the states is "good" or "bad." It simply depends on what you want to do with the water.
Same with you. In any given moment, you may be prosperous or healthy or courageous. You may embody scarcity or imbalance or fearfulness. Neither is good or bad. If your goal is to win a lawsuit against an aggressor, you will most likely do better given the second group. If your goal is to create an empowered life on your own, you will most likely do better given the first.
So what's a person to do? How do you consistently distance yourself from challenging circumstances and create the best "you" possible?
Easy. Focus on what you want.
Imagine Ice, the solid state of the substance water. If Ice could reason, we might hear the following self-talk conversation: "I'm boiling mad! It's darned cold in here. I didn't sign on for this ice chest. I'm just STEAMED!"
Frustration, I hear. How about you? Not too effective either. He is identifying with his circumstances; life in the ice chest. His personal power is blocked by his anger.
Imagine that Ice takes a personal development course. He learns to focus on what he wants. "Ahhh," he might say. "Warming, soothing, comforting. I can just feel myself cooling off Jimmy's heated brow. Little Sara will inhale me and breathe easy. I just love my new style!"
Can you sense the transformation? Ice's new focus is not so much on the circumstances around him, but on who he his. Where he's headed. What he can do.
You are not your circumstances. You are you ... your state. Out of your powerful state comes a powerful life. Choose the state you want to be and claim it.
Elizabeth Eckert can help you explore how simple everyday choices create health — or undermine even the best of intentions. With a background that ranges from energy medicine to structural bodywork to developmental psychology, this "Stick-To-It Coach" has the experience to support you in creating the healthiest possible expression of — you!
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