What we choose to focus on and give our attention to will be our perspective. If we fixate on what offends us that is all we will see in the world. Much like when watching television you are in control of the channel. If you don’t like what’s on, you have the right and the responsibility to change it. Choose your your viewpoints rather than be pressed or depressed by them. Norah Ephron wrote, “Always be the heroine of your own story, never the victim.”
We often get caught up in the idea of a knight in shining armor. A Robin Hood, that will waltz in at the right moment to save us from our fates. But as President Obama once said, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” It’s us. We are the ones who are going to have to do the work of saving ourselves and of making our own lives more beautiful.
The first step is looking honestly at your life and deciding if there is something you can change. If you have conflict that is hurting your heart it’s ok to take a break. A quick way to know if this is happening is to check your text messages – if the top five conversations contain negative comments or complaints you have a choice to make. You can choose to continue to feel victimized by the situation or you can choose to get out of it.
The fist step is to decide you want to do something differently. It is both as easy and as hard as it sounds. I am a firm believer that you can run away from your problems. If a particular group or friend feels as if they are taking more from you than they are giving back it’s ok to walk away. It is also ok to take space and time to heal before you return to that relationship, if you ever do. If you’re unsure I would encourage a cooling off period. This will give you time to assess, reflect, and calm down before you make a decision. The answer is already in you.
Setting boundaries is one excellent way that you can keep someone in your life while also getting your needs met. Boundaries exist to assure that we all feel safe and supported in our relationships. When someone gives you a boundary they are telling you that they want you in their lives and this is one way in which they can see that happening.
Another great way to shift your perspective is to talk to a therapist or counselor, someone who can give you the tools to process your emotions and work through your feelings. You don’t need to inform others if you choose therapy. Though it has become somewhat a badge of honor these days. The work you do with your therapist or counselor is private and personal. They are able to provide the care that you need to heal or locate the root of your issue. It’s easy to keep having the same fight, it’s a lot harder to determine what situations feel unsafe or undesirable to you. With therapy and boundaries you may be able to heal and find a healthy way to engage with others.
Life can be hard but it is also a lovely and beautiful experience. If you’re feeling more miserable than joyful it’s a good idea to talk with someone you trust. There may be a medicinal solution that works for you or a therapeutic treatment that enables you to live the life you want that includes the people and experiences you want most in your life. When we choose to take care of ourselves we choose joy. And when we feel joyful, healed, and healthy we start to draw the right people, situations, and events into our lives. I can thinking of nothing more heroic than that.