|Photo Courtesy Rumi Facebook Page.|
So many times in life we look for others to make us happy and we put our happiness in their hands. We may depend on others to do things that we believe will bring us happiness and when they do not we blame them or become angry. This is a recipe for disaster.
In my journey with Nonviolent Communication (NVC) I have come to understand that I am responsible for meeting my needs and that other people are not.
I have learned to not attach myself to one person having to meet my need(s). The same goes for groups of people (organizations, clubs, fellowships, etc.). When I have expectations of others I put myself in a place where I can be disappointed. When I believe it is others' responsibility to meet my needs I give my power away because they have the power to affect my happiness or sadness. I am no longer in control of my happiness. I am less empowered. I also put a heavy burden on others. I play a game where no one wins.
When I take responsibility that I am solely responsible for meeting my needs I cease blaming others. I put a stop to the story that perpetuates the shoulds - the story where I am a victim. When I take responsibility for meeting my needs I find ways to meet my needs on my own without attachment to an outcome. If I do ask someone to help me meet a need I am okay with hearing "no". I know that there are other people on the planet that can help me as well. I may even be able to meet my need by myself. I am okay with being with unmet needs for a while and can mourn. I know that if I keep the light lit on my need I can find another way of meeting that need. It is not the end of the road but the beginning of endless possibilities.
For example, when I want understanding from someone and they are not willing to listen to me, I may throw a tantrum or hear their unwillingness as rejection and become angry or depressed. But there is another choice. I can realize that this has nothing to do with me and not take it personal. They may not have time or the capacity in that moment to hear me. I can choose to talk to someone else or to empathize with myself. I can empathize with them (their needs) and shift out of despair or resentment. I can choose to realize that it is not their responsibility to meet my needs and take ownership of the reality that I am responsible for this. I can begin stepping into the magical place of advocacy for my needs and the unlimited potential that is available in the universe.
Empowerment & Freedom
I can choose freedom from attachment to one way or one strategy. I run away from a single-minded purpose and open my heart to myself and others. I find new ways to find happiness and rid myself of the chains that come from attachment to the idea that others are responsible to give me something or owe me. By living in this way, I am living in my power.
For today, try to be mindful of your expectations of others and be open to the many possible strategies you may have available for meeting your need(s).
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