Have you ever made a public statement about something you want to commit to? Maybe you decide you want to quit smoking, or eat healthier or even to learn a musical instrument. Whatever “it” was, I’m sure when you made the statement you meant it. Full of confidence and conviction, we often proclaim our desires to others.
So does that feeling change when you haven’t honored that commitment and someone brings it up? Or worse yet, when they literally catch you doing something that contradicts your desire?
“Hey man, I thought you were gonna quit smoking?”
“Wow that’s a lot of food. Didn’t you say you were trying to eat healthier?”
“Hey, are you a guitar hero yet?”
Pretty sure you get the same feeling I do. Embarrassed, frustrated, annoyed, and maybe even a little shame and guilt right?
When we find ourselves in these situations it’s easy to get distracted by our emotional reactions. We might even think the people who do this to us are being rude or deliberately trying to make fun of our failure. All of these feelings are real… but are they really necessary?
Often times I hear people tell stories of a person they don’t like and it’s associated with situations like these. How often do we allow ourselves to be convinced that it’s OK to dislike or even hate someone else for doing this sort of thing? Is it really their “fault” that they’ve made these simple observations? Have you really avoided doing it yourself? What if I told you that those people may be the most important people in your life?
I know it’s a tough pill to swallow and I know that I’m a little biased because I literally WANT people to do this sort of thing to me all the time but let me explain why.
If we made the statement, and we had all that conviction and confidence, why didn’t we follow through? Having someone hold us accountable to answer that question is possibly one of the greatest opportunities for self-awareness we could ask for. More importantly, the way we treat them in response to their query will tell us a LOT about how it makes us feel and who WE tend to be towards others when this topic comes up.
Sadly, that means we sometimes misplace the frustration we have with ourselves onto them. Suddenly we have become the jerk that we imagined them to be even though they really haven’t done anything wrong. It’s the greatest blind spot any of us will ever have. The ability to see, or willingness to face, our own hypocrisy.
It places the responsibility squarely on our own shoulders and sometimes that’s a tough thing to accept.
Far too often the discomfort of our lives is self-imposed and we’ve taken no time to admit, address and change it even though we know that doing so is the only way to get from where we are to where we want to be. We live in a world of complex and sometimes unseen distractions and influences but most importantly we live in a world of our own making.
It’s only through the conscious willingness to let every reminder you get, even when they come from that person that always seems to be picking on you, inspire you to recommit to your desire and get yourself back on track.
Why is that so important? Because if a casual observer can see our inconsistencies what messages do you think God is getting from you. Whatever you call your higher power, you are in constant communion with it at all times. If this person has noticed, then the Universe is probably responding to it too.
So the next time someone catches you doing something you said you didn’t want to be doing anymore, thank them. Friend or foe they have served you well because if you want your life to be the way you think it could be, and I know it can be, then you have to accept that every reminder you get is one that places you back on the path where that life is possible.
This is what it means to become congruent, consistent and potent spiritual beings. To be so aware of ourselves that we leave no doubt as to what we desire to receive from the world around us. Not because we say so… but because we live a life that has already accepted that it IS so. And so it is.