“When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot.” — Dalai Lama
Sometimes I see posts on Facebook from people giving a middle finger to their hometown and all the people there, complaining about how poorly they’re treated and how they just want to get out, get away.
Recently a woman has been ranting on that subject, and has even posted photos of herself with middle finger raised. The label on one of the photos reads, “To all the haters.”
I don’t know the details of her story, but I don’t need to. Stories like this don’t change much: He was talking behind my back. She disrespected my family. He cheated on his girlfriend (so I’m going to make sure he knows how much I despise him). She didn’t return my calls (so I’m going to assume she’s maliciously ignoring me). No one respects me.
This woman’s solution? Move to the next town over. These people will recreate the same problems for themselves in short order. Sure, they’ll look a little different, with different names and different faces, but they’ll be the same victimhood stories.
At the core is always the belief that something outside of themselves is responsible for what is happening to them.
It makes me chuckle. In truth, you can find a problem anywhere in the world, if that’s what you’re looking for. (You can also find plenty of beautiful, stimulating stuff, too, by the way.) It doesn’t matter where you live or who you’re interacting with; what matters is you.
Your lessons — that’s pronounced “problems” by most people — will follow you around the world and around the bloody galaxy until you stop trying to avoid learning them. They’re a reflection of you and what you chose to experience in your time in this body.
So to the woman who rails against “all the haters,” I would ask her to look inside herself and reflect on where the hate is really coming from. It takes incredible self-absorption and narcissism to put that much time and energy into fighting against a reflection of yourself.
Yet we all have done it. Even now, even after I imagine myself to have “awakened,” I still catch myself caught up in myself sometimes.
When I start getting frustrated at the state of apathy toward Mother Earth, to the way people consume empty, processed crap in abuse of their health and their spirit, to the way Washington is horribly dysfunctional — I have to take a breath and realize that I bear responsibility too.
I can be angry, but it’s not “somebody else out there” who’s to blame, it’s a reflection of me as much as it is of anybody else. (Even the idiots on Capitol Hill, bless their arrogant hearts — I bear responsibility for them, too.)
My friend Ryan has a saying: “Nothing to do, nowhere to go, no one to blame.”
He might have added, “And nowhere to hide from your problems.”
Ryan’s not suggesting you shouldn’t ever move away from home. He’s not advocating complete apathy and withdrawal from the world.
What he means is that you are responsible for creating your own experience in this world, all of it, and as soon as you take a moment to to let go, to breathe and clear your mind, you’ll know it more deeply than by simply having someone tell you. It’s on you.
There’s always a choice to be made about whether you’re going to act as the conscious creator you really are, or pretend to be the victim and continue to suffer needlessly.
It’s not always something we want to hear. Sometimes we just want to be pissed off about something, and to hell with the consequences.
But we’ve reached a point in our world and in our evolution as a people where blindness is no longer viable. Now we have to take responsibility for ourselves and stop pointing the finger at other people.
Time to remember that when you want to flip somebody off, you’re only flipping off your reflection in the mirror.