Taking Responsibility = Claiming back your power

You know how many people feel unhappy about certain aspects of their life and feel stuck and unable to do something about it? Somehow it feels like a situation, a person or part of yourself is holding you back to move out of the negative patterns in your life.
I felt the same for many years. You may feel like that right now.

In this true personal story I will explain how taking responsibility for your life and happiness is in fact an act of claiming back your power. It not only feels great to do so, it also positively will change your life forever!

When I was 5 years old, both my parents died due to a car accident. This trauma had a big impact on me and on my younger sister as you can imagine. We were however taken care of by an uncle and auntie. They raised us well and loved us in any way they could. Unfortunately they got divorced a few years later when I was 9 years old.

Twice, the basic safety was swept underneath our feet. No surprise that all kind of defense mechanisms started to kick in, in order to survive. My sister and I grew up well enough with lots of support, love and therapy. Now, skipping a few years to where I was 27 years old. I had just returned to Holland after having lived abroad for a year….

Being away from your normal environment can help to see things more clearly. And what I had become painfully aware of is that my life was full of negative patterns (I hereby mean problems that kept on reappearing in my life so that I could conclude there was a pattern). For example, I could not hold a normal relationship for very long, I attracted men that were out of reach (sometimes literally with a sea or mountain ridge separating us :-). I had difficulties with saying ‘no’ and had other boundary issues. I confused sexuality with love, I had a negative self-image and a lack of self-confidence. I was afraid for women that were distant, cold and bossy, I was afraid for making mistakes, in fact I was afraid for many more things.

Until then I had blamed my childhood traumas for all these problems in my life. Inside I could hear myself think “poor me, because all the terrible things that happened to me when I was young I am not able to live a happy life”.

Suddenly I noticed how I sounded like a victim and immediately after that realization I remembered a book that I had read from Louise Hay called ‘You can Heal Yourself’. One sentence sounded clear inside my mind: “We are all 100% responsible for our own lives”.

At that point I was aware of the fact that I had a choice:
Either I could stay a victim by blaming a situation in my past and continue to struggle in life feeling unhappy……or……I could take responsibility.

Right then I decided: I am from now on taking full responsibility of my own life and my happiness!

This was one of the biggest shifts in my life. Saying this to myself actually felt great! I felt powerful, energized and ready to take action! Now knowing all the negative patterns that I did not want anymore, I started to focus on what I did want, and at that moment, at age 27, I knew I wanted to heal and create a happy life more than anything. It had become a burning desire. And by taking responsibility I now had the courage to follow my heart. I excitedly took all the actions for getting there and ever since then I always have a basic sense of fulfillment. My life became increasingly more wonderful and I gained a sense of accomplishment as well. I overcame so many fears, I broke through so many patterns, I was amazed how my life was changing as a result of my efforts. When I changed my inner world, my outer world (the reality that I perceived) changed.

Off course I experienced many ups and downs in life since then. But through all of that I could still see how I could take charge of my life and overcome obstacles. This does not mean that I never stepped into the victim role again.

I remember one specific time when I was surprised to fall back in the victim role again because I thought I was over that. Then I discovered deep inside my attachment to the victim role!
That was a hard thing to accept, that a part of me liked being a victim, so that I could blame others and avoid responsibility, keeping myself in a false feeling of safety, not stepping out of my comfort zone. The great thing about life is that every moment is a new beginning where you can choose again.

Each time I chose to step out of the victim role and take responsibility for my life, fantastic things happened. I would courageously step out of my comfort zone, take action and adopt new positive beliefs. I now consider myself one of the happiest people in the world. This had nothing to do with luck… This had everything to do with me taking responsibility for my life and my happiness.

And if I can do it, you can do it.
Just practice with it: Honestly look at yourself and see if anywhere in your life you are blaming another person, yourself or a situation. Then realize that this victim attitude is not going to bring you the happiness you want and deserve. Decide to take full responsibility in that moment and start to create the life you want.

When you fall back into the victim role, please don’t be hard on yourself. It’s human. Just notice it as a neutral observer and choose again. Take responsibility and reclaim your power!

Listen here to rap song “Reclaim your power” by Temba Spirits. Written by Temba upon request of Janet Attwood for Passion Test Seminar for Homeless people.