"Joy doesn't come from circumstances, it comes from inside."
When we experience distress in our lives, the first thing we want to do is find the source so we can snuff it out and feel better. Sound about right?
In Robin’s episode, one of her big ahas came when she understood that she was actually responsible for her own life and happiness. It wasn’t up to anyone else. While that is such a rational thought, most of us don’t think that way naturally. We have a default setting that quickly casts blame to someone or something else whenever we don’t feel good in life.
So what does that default setting say?
Rabbi Mordecai Finley (my most influential teacher about the inner life) lays out this default belief equation beautifully. He says that IF we feel horrible, insecure, frustrated, depressed, angry, etc., THEN it must have been caused by something outside of us. We can't imagine that it could generate from within.
And so we begin the search for the culprit. Once we find something or someone that seems to fit the description, we attack.
When you see that default belief in black and white, it’s quite shocking. We don’t want to think that we could stoop so low. But we do.
The good news is that we also have a part of us that can be rooted in empowering beliefs and best practices. We can understand that no one and no thing has that kind of power over us unless we give it permission. We can actually decide what we will allow to distress and dominate us.
If you own that responsibility, then it’s really up to you to decide if you want to be a joyous, thriving person, regardless of your circumstances. Or you can decide if you want to be a victim to the erratic winds that blow around you.
Personal responsibility is a core principle in personal transformation.
When Robin fully understood this principle, she began to get her power back. And with that, she could choose to take care of herself and get her health back. She could choose to love herself and get her sense of self back. She could choose to extricate herself from toxicity and get her joy back.
She says, "Never give your power away."