A Comment That Changed My Life

chasing rainbowsMany years ago I fell prey to a “woe-is-me” episode. A friend made an offhand comment that changed my life direction and I want to share it with you.

But, first, let me say that his comment really offended me. That’s a true friend…someone who tells you what you NEED to hear regardless of how it makes you feel. Anyway, I was literally furious for several weeks.

But I couldn’t shed the comment and slowly realized its truth and that caused me to grow, take courage and DO SOMETHING about the situation. His comment:

“YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE YOU WANT TO BE”

Oh, it was so much easier to believe I was the victim. But being a victim allows you to avoid blame and put the responsibility somewhere else. And you can only truly change your circumstances when you take responsibility for your circumstances.

I realized I was angry because his comment meant I was responsible. My poor choices and judgment had resulted in the problem. How I responded to the path of options that had led to my circumstances was my responsibility alone.

I realized that I was addicted to avoiding rejection, conflict and blame… both just and unjust. That avoidance behavior caused me to “go along” with others just to “get along”. I realized that my need for acceptance and approval was driving me to continually “chase other people’s rainbows.”

Taking responsibility meant taking risks, potential disapproval, and accepting blame. But chasing one’s own rainbow means you get where YOU need to be. It means operating on the assumption that you deserve better.

The outcome? I think at this later stage of life I can look back and say that I have earned greater respect, more solid friendships, greater stability and confidence. No, I haven’t achieved all that I had hoped but I am sure further along than I was. So, now when I feel the “woe-is-me’s” coming on I ask my self two questions: “Why do I want to be here?” and “What choices did I make that got me here?”

Whose Rainbow are you chasing?

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