The Union Path Podcast
"Reclaiming Our Own Life"
It makes perfect sense, perfectly logical, it's perfectly rational to want to avoid pain. Then we experience something that is painful. It's natural to want to avoid experiencing that again. That's part of learning. We do something, something else happens. We learn from that, we grow and we move on.
But some of these lessons can be absorbed in a way, can be interpreted in a way that we can attribute meaning to them in a way that isn't actually that helpful, or that we can miss the real message a little bit. We can overreact, we can overcorrect. One of the ways we can do this is that when we experience pain, we can build a life around avoiding future pain. Again, in a lot of ways this makes perfect sense, especially if we find ourselves to be quote unquote sensitive. That pain really seems to hit different for us, really seems to penetrate, really seems to cut us to our core, can make a lot of sense. To just want to avoid pain, can make a lot of sense to absorb the lesson that life is about avoiding pain. But of course this attitude, this perspective is through a negative lens, that we can get the life we want if we can just eliminate those things we don't. And when we break it down this way, when we think about it this way, when we consider it this way, I think we can see the falling in this. If we live a life that is based on a negative pattern, then that in and of itself will negate things coming into and being in our life. That that avoidance will have unintended consequences that will end up avoiding things we didn't mean to. Because when we turn away and avoid one core aspect of life and pain, although it is really difficult, is a core aspect of life we end up avoiding all sorts of things that we don't mean to. That our attempts to control our life are, of course, never perfect. That of course there are side effects that are unintended consequences to our avoiding, and the more we practice this, the more we do this, the more side effects we can occur. In fact, if we experience enough pain, we can actually adopt an avoidant style to our entire life. We can go through life trying to avoid pain as our primary goal. We can install all sorts of avoidant behaviors of where we find ourselves not doing things far more than choosing to do things.
This pushes us into a very reactive state of where we feel like life is constantly throwing things at us and we're constantly reacting to what's being thrown at us. It puts us back on our heels In some ways. It can make us think that life is out to get us, that life itself is an inherently negative thing, and we interpret this, we intuit this, because we ourselves are coming into a life when, with an inherently negative attitude that, however we feel deep down, however we really feel about our life, is reflected in our life, those core perspectives, those core attitudes, those core feelings will be reflected back to us in our life experience. In a lot of ways, our life experiences is a mirror being held up to us of where we can see we can really learn a lot about ourselves when we look around at our life and look around how things are for us. When we can really become aware of how our life is, we can really learn a lot about ourselves, a lot about how we think about things, a lot about the beliefs that we hold deep down, because, especially over a longer time period, we tend to get what we expect, and on a moment to moment basis. This isn't perfect, but overall, over long trends, I think we can see this play out, that on some level, no matter what happens to us. Some part of us is like I knew it. And if we're filled with doubt, if we're filled with avoidance, we can see all sorts of things pass us by and think to ourselves I knew that wouldn't happen, I knew that wouldn't work out, I knew that wouldn't be good. And it can feel like we're attaching this, knowing this awareness in hindsight, but a lot of times, if not most of the time, we actually felt this way first and it's our life reflecting these feelings back to us.
This can be kind of a difficult thing to become aware of because on some level it kind of feels like we're some sort of wizard casting spells into our own life. In my opinion, anyway, over the longer term, there's actually a fair amount of truth to this. If we look at our life, especially over the long term, and look at how we actually feel, what we really feel deep on the inside, I think we can see a congruence there. I think we can see a resonance there. I can think we can see how our life, in a lot of ways, has been echoing back to us the feelings and the energy that we've been putting into it.
This can be a very difficult thing to realize because, of course, none of us want to be a victim. None of us want to be victimized by our life, none of us want to walk around blaming everyone and everything for everything that happens to us. But in a lot of ways, we do this because it's easier, it's simpler, it's easier to understand, but also prevents us from looking very deeply within ourselves. It also prevents us from taking ultimate responsibility for our own life, ultimate accountability for what happens to us, because it seems like, on a superficial level, this isn't us, this is everything and everyone else. We're not the problem, they're the problem or that's the problem. Of course, this isn't about blaming ourselves. This isn't about castigating ourselves or finding fault with the way we are. It's about becoming aware of how our life actually works. It's about becoming aware of how things actually are. It's about connecting to, and acknowledging and absorbing the truth. This can be really hard. This can be really hard to look at our life and realize that we're the ones crafting it, we're the ones creating it, we're the ones designing it. Again, this doesn't mean that we can wave our wand and have magical powers on everyone and everything around us, but it does mean that we are the headwaters of our own life. We are the tone-setters. We are the ones creating the call to which life is answering. We are the originators of our own life experience.
If we've gone through our life, if we've been burned before, if we've touched that hot stove and have learned to avoid touching that hot stove, we can also learn some other unfortunate lessons. We can over-apply that lesson to far too broad, far too many areas of our life. We can learn to avoid all stoves. We can learn to hate stoves. We can learn to try to live a life without ever going near a stove ever again. But ultimately, what that does, what that avoidant behavior does, is it causes us to miss out on a good portion of our life.
If we've been hurt before and we avoid any situation which could possibly hurt us again, then we'll end up avoiding all sorts of situations that could actually be really good for us, that we actually want. We could limit our life down to only very narrow lanes of possibility and thus make our lives really small. But even worse, we can convince ourselves that life is something that we constantly have to react to, that life is something that's just happening to us. We can lose sight. We can forget that we're the ones actually creating our own life, that we're the ones actually doing this Through our thoughts, through our feelings, at the very least through our choices. If we want to strip out all of the energy and spirit and all of those sorts of things just from a purely and coldly rational perspective, the most logical way we can look at our life over a long enough time span, what our life is is the sum of all of our choices. We're the ones choosing. We're the ones choosing to do this, we're the ones choosing to not do that.
Even if we're just going along with someone or something else, even if we're just doing what we're told, even if we're just doing what we learned, even if we're just following someone else's idea of what our life should be, ultimately we're the ones choosing. We are the ones choosing to honor and obey that advice, that directive. We are the ones choosing to fulfill and maintain and perpetuate those expectations In our life. We are the ones living it. And if we can bring enough awareness to our life to really be able to see this, really be able to acknowledge it, really be able to see the patterns that play out, how our life tends to feel, the way that we feel, I can be an incredibly powerful realization. It can be an incredibly liberating realization, because the next step beyond that is realizing that we are the ones with the power. We're the ones with the power because we are the ones who have creative power over our own life. We are the ones creating our own life. No one else is doing this.
Sure, we can cast blame on a myriad of different sources, we can construct so many villains, we can write so many sad stories about how and why our life is the way it is, but ultimately we are the creators of our own life. We are the ones who have final say. We are the ones who choose. And when we fully become aware of this, when we fully acknowledge this, when we fully accept this, then we can fully liberate ourselves from having to blame or be victimized by anyone or anything else. This doesn't mean everything becomes instantly awesome for us in every possible way, but it does mean that we know the truth, that we know the truth that we can choose whatever we wish. And because we can choose whatever we wish, we can take control, we can take the power back over our own life, over our own life experience.
That life isn't what happens to us. Life is what we create it to be, and sometimes we find ourselves in these sorts of ruts where life just isn't working, where we just experience a lot of pain With the very least. We just live a life where a lot of our days we're just trying to get through, we're just trying to get things done, we're just trying to get everything checked off our list so we don't have to do it, don't have to think about it anymore that we live a lot of days, we're just trying to get through that. We're the ones who can actually shift this. We're the ones who can shift from a reactive mode to a proactive mode. We're the ones who can choose to act. We're the ones who choose to create. We're also the ones who choose to react, and often when we choose to react, we choose to recreate A lot of times our reactions, our reactions to what is is perpetuating, what is Keeping us locked in those patterns, that as long as we're reacting to what happens to us, we can very often continue having that thing happen to us over and over and over again, and that when we do find change, when we finally change a situation, often it's because we re-assume our own power, our own creative power on our own life.
We decide to do something different, we decide to take back control, we decide to take back our own autonomy, our own agency, we decide to take responsibility for our own life and we choose to do something different. And just this energy shift alone, just as taking our own power back, just realizing our own agency, our own ability to create and craft our own life, can make all the difference. Because when we have this shift, from an energy perspective, from a feeling perspective, it's palpable, it's obvious, we can feel it. It's almost like we can feel ourselves grow, we can feel ourselves stand up straight, stand up tall, because we're no longer so put upon by life, we're no longer so victimized by life. Our life is ours, we claim it, we reclaim it. And we reclaim it by choosing to live it on purpose.
Because one of the things that living a reactive life of just reacting to everything that happens to us is that it's very difficult to live a life intentionally. It's very difficult to live a life on purpose. It's very difficult to live a life with purpose when we're constantly just reacting to what's happening to us. But we can break these cycles, we can break these chains by, instead of reacting, choosing to act, to do something new, to do something different, that we can regain and reassert creative control over our life by becoming intentionally creative, by striving to create things on purpose, striving to create things with purpose. It's one of the worst tricks we play on ourselves. One of the worst tricks we play on each other is being convinced that we have less power over on life than we really do, that our own life really isn't up to us. It's up to something else, it's up to circumstance, it's up to some other person, it's up to some group, it's up to some label, it's up to some idea, expectation, tradition and, in reality, ultimately, our life is up to us. We are the ones who choose. Because we are the ones who choose, we are the ones who have the authority and the responsibility to choose and we're choosing all the time.
Many of us most of us, myself for a very long period of time make choices unconsciously, make choices reactively, but I've also experienced the opposite. I've also experienced the moment of being in a bad situation, saying wait a minute, I don't want this. How did how did any of this even really happen? How has this gone on so long? And making the choice. I'm going to change it. I don't know how, but I am, and I think there's a subtle knowing, when we make this shift, that things will change, because in that moment we've changed, we've become different, we've reasserted control and authority over our own life again, we've taken our power back.
But it's so easy to imbue and invest power and control over our life to everyone and everything around us. I feel that our life is so fragile and so tenuous that if we don't maintain our relationships perfectly, if we don't maintain our circumstance perfectly, if we don't control every aspect of our life from an external perspective, bad things will happen to us. And we're constantly obsessed about how we're being perceived, about how we're being valued, about what our place is in this world. It's so easy to lose track, to lose touch with ourselves, it's so easy to forfeit our own choice and we get involved in reacting to what's happening to us. And even though we can choose to make this shift, even though we can choose to take our power back, even though we can choose to reassert creative control over our own life, oftentimes it doesn't really work out that way. Sometimes something needs to happen to us first. Sometimes we need to be pushed to a point where we can't take it anymore.
We can see this in so many of the stories, so many of the books and movies that we love. Our favorite part is when the hero finally decides to take charge, to create change, to take back control, to do something different, to live and exist with intention, to decide for themselves no, not anymore, not today. We love that. We celebrate that Because I think, on an intuitive level, we understand that that's how change actually happens. That we understand that that's at the root of our own creative power Is that when we reassert and reestablish and reclaim creative control over our own life, things tend to get better. New things tend to happen. We tend to be presented with opportunities that have been absent before.
Our life goes through a tectonic and fundamental shift, and I believe this happens not because of anything we're specifically doing, although that's obviously part of it. It's much more about the tectonic shift, a fundamental shift that's happened within us. Our energy is completely changed. Our energy has shifted from negative to positive, from reaction to action, from recreation to creation. That everything changes when fundamental changes are made at the origin.
That there's only so much we can do on the outer boundaries of our life. Circumstances are sticky, circumstances are sometimes intractable or, at the very least, very durable, and sometimes there's very little we can actually do on the external aspect of these things and for working a job we hate. We can't instantly snap our fingers and have a job we love tomorrow, but what we can do is change ourselves on a fundamental basis that, if we look back, was actually the cause, was actually the driving force of all the choices that we made to have this job we hate in the first place. And, yes, instant, miraculous change is possible, but much more often it's a process that we have to unwind all the ways that we've already wound ourselves up. We have to undo some of the things we've done To very least. We need to establish new patterns, we need to establish a new basis of being in order to change our life experience. We need to change how we are before we can change how our life is Because, again, these two will always reflect each other.
But it's a great day, it's a beautiful day. It's a wonderful day that we decide to take our power back, when we fully acknowledge our own creative power in our own life, when we take full responsibility for our life and we choose something different. We choose to be different and in kind of a funny paradoxical way, sometimes the circumstances of our life don't change at all, but because we're different, that actually changes everything. I think we've all experienced this, at least on some level. And when we feel different on the inside, we tend to be treated differently as well. But when we no longer feel like victims, we're much less likely to be victimized. Then, when we feel much less put upon, we're much less likely to be tread upon. This is the energy of our life, this is the through line of our life, this is the ground state that we live our life from. That everything in our life is created from, and we get to choose it. We get to choose what we orient to, we get to choose what we orient around. We get to choose how our life is on a fundamental level, because we get to choose who we are on a fundamental level.
And if we're living a life experience where we've come to avoid many aspects of our own life, maybe the lesson in that, maybe what we're actually waiting for, is for us to take our own creative power back. If we feel like we're going through life just constantly being battered from one difficult circumstance to the next. Maybe that's the time to try a little bit more intention. Maybe that's the time to try a little bit more responsibility. Maybe that's the time to try to live our life more on purpose. That what we're waiting for. What we're waiting for to actually create change is we're waiting for ourselves to actually choose, because we've just been reacting to everything that happens to us.
We haven't actually made a choice. We haven't put our rudder down, we haven't grabbed hold of the steering wheel and said I want to go over there. We've allowed ourselves to just be blown around by whichever way the wind is blowing. We haven't really charted a course, we haven't really set an intention. We haven't really said this is my one and only life and this is how I want it to be. Again, it doesn't mean we're going to be instantly successful. It actually doesn't mean we're going to be successful at all.
Failure and struggle and pain are always going to be a part of our life, no matter what happens. But we can get to a point where we can accept this. We can get to a point where we can accept the struggle and the pain of life because we know that's part of living a full life, that we can stop trying to avoid these things and we can make our lives so much more full, so much more rich. We can experience things we actually never would have even dreamed were possible, because we stopped avoiding our own life, we stopped going into our life and living our life with a negative perspective. We stopped negating the things in our life that we actually want in an attempt to avoid all the things we don't.
We go out into life being willing, wanting to live it fully, willing to experience whatever happens, because we want to be as open as possible. We want to experience all the good that we possibly can, and we know that that will involve some bad things coming to us and happening to us. But that's part of the deal, that's part of the bargain we strike, because we've found, we've lived the opposite. We know what happens when we try to avoid the bad. We also end up avoiding a good portion of the good, and that's not okay with us anymore. That doesn't actually work for us. That doesn't actually work period, because plenty of bad things still happen to us.
In fact, if we get overly focused on the negative aspects of life, it can feel like our life is overly negative, because that's where our focus is, that's what we're reacting to, that's what's completely filling and crowding out our awareness by shifting our energy back into creation, back into the positive. That also shifts our focus as well. We start to entertain possibility, we start to re-engage with what we actually want, we start to have goals again, we start to aspire again, we start to have dreams again and we start to lean in that direction and the energy of our life is completely shifted Because now we feel that creative power within us, now we feel our life is different because we're different. It doesn't work the other way around. If we're waiting for our life to change us, if we're waiting for our life to make us better, to make us whole, I think at the very least we'll be waiting a long time, maybe forever.
We can decide to change ourselves, we can decide to be whole now and go into life with that energy, because it's been my experience anyway that a whole life is lived by us being whole first. As long as we're going into life looking for life to make us whole, we will be looking and trying forever, because life can't do that, criminal circumstance cannot do that. Because even if it does, even if it delivers it for a short amount of time. That emptiness remains. It's just been plastered over, because the emptiness exists within us and no matter how profound of an experience we have, that cannot penetrate fully, that cannot populate the aspect of ourselves that's empty.
We're the ones that have to do that. We're the ones that have to choose to do that. That's an inside job, that's our job. We can choose to do this whenever we wish, and sometimes it does take circumstance to force us into this decision. Getting back to these books and movies we like so much, that's always what happens. That's the hero's journey. Hero doesn't usually go into it volitionally. They don't volunteer for what they need to do. They have to be pushed into it. So sometimes our life has to push us and do it as well, and everyone's threshold is different.
But we can decide to go. We can decide to be the hero of our own story whenever we want to, because the only thing that decision requires is for us to make it, and we can choose to make it whenever we want. We can choose to make it today. We can choose to make it right now.
We can choose to change everything in our life by reclaiming and reasserting our own creative power by realizing that we are the creator of our own life and acting is such, and acting appropriately, making decisions, living our life from that basis, rather than the basis of life, is just something that happens to us. Living from the basis that life is something that we create, that we have the power and we can choose to create the life we want. We can choose to pursue what we want. We can choose to value what we want. We can choose to create, we can choose to act in any way that we wish. And if we want to live a full life, we want to live a complete life. We want to live the life that is fully and completely ours. We can choose to create that by reclaiming and reasserting our own creative power. Take care and all the best.
Transcribed by https://podium.page