Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had the ability to get others to magically comply with our wishes? What if we had a technology to morph our environment – to remove anything that is annoying and energy-sucking – so that we could spend more time on the stuff that really matters?
One of my “it gets under my skin” frustrations and distractions revolves around picking up other people’s messes. My family’s messes. Yes, I am a mom in the throes of teaching my children responsibility.
I would have preferred to have more thoroughly addressed this topic when they were much younger. But healthy boundaries is something I learned the importance of later in life. And what fun would it be if I didn’t learn the hard way!
One daily task on the learning curve of healthy boundaries involved toilet paper. Yep, TP.
It felt like every time I entered a bathroom, the toilet paper roll was anywhere but on the “toilet paper holder”. On the floor. On the edge of the sink.
And my all-time-favorite, on the window sill. Really!? But never in its toilet paper home.
I tried all of the obvious tactics. I spoke privately to all offending parties asking them to always return the toilet paper to its rightful place. I made morning declarations of the importance of each family member’s contribution to putting back household items where they found them.
I ran around the house (on a really unbalanced day) emoting about “how no one in the house listens to me” and “I might as well be speaking to a brick wall’ when I make said requests.
I even advocated at the dinner table regarding my belief that toilet paper does not constitute a window sill ornament. “I am not picking up anything. And your friends will no longer want to come over, because the house will be so messy!” That will teach them. Ha!
Nada. Nothing. No change.
I readily admit that “TPgate” is not an important issue for me, or anyone really…but the solution to it helps me illustrate the vital relationship between our choice of focus and the reality we experience.
Why Effecting Change Outside of Ourselves is like Spitting in the Wind
Why do we find ourselves in repetitive situations that feel like we are living a scene from the movie Groundhog Day? Again and again. The same situation. No escape.
We don’t go to the source to effect change.
When you look outside of yourself for the answers, and attempt to convince, manipulate, cajole and force someone else to “see it your way”, change their behavior, or do what you want, you are not effectively using your energy to create.
I refer to that method of attempting change as “spitting in the wind”.
Your focus on a problem – enhanced by feelings of disempowerment, fear, frustration and anger that go along with attempting to change someone else – returns like a boomerang in your experience. And will continue to do so, until you go higher.
This is the equation I use to further illustrate the relationship between our reality, focus and emotions.
Reality = Focus (Emotions)
So,the foundation of your reality is dictated by your choice of focus and fueled by your emotions. It’s a feedback loop that you cannot exit until you change within.
This is not a metaphor. It’s actually the way reality works.
Sure, there are times when it’s appropriate to advocate your position, but that must be coupled by change within.
This was my approach to Project Toilet Paper and is applicable to any and all negative feedback loops.
- Identify and let go of any self-limiting beliefs, perspectives and behaviors that are contributing to my experience. How am I boxing myself into this negative feedback loop through old beliefs that I still hold but no longer serve me?
- Establish healthy boundaries. This entails not giving my energy to anything that enables others to shirk their own responsibility.
- Practice (every day) being aware of when I am trying to externally change someone else’s behavior – stop – remember it’s an inside job – shift gears without self-judgement.
- Practice (every day) choosing my focus. Focus on anything and everything that brings me joy, peace and gratitude. Know the negative feedback loop will still exist – because it takes some time, practice and patience for it to dissipate from my experience – but just choose to not give it my attention.
- Remember that if I don’t want to continue to experience something, take any necessary action to resolve it, but do not fuel it with emotion.
Is it that simple? Yes! Is it easy to execute on a daily basis? No. At first, it takes infinite patience and practice. But like learning to ride a bike, the longer you practice the easier it becomes, until it’s no longer a part of your experience.
So, please, learn from my trials and tribulations. Stop spitting in the wind. Our focus is a magnificent technology capable of removing negative feedback loops from our awareness, while enhancing the aspects of our life that we want more of. And, our emotion is the energy we use to fuel our creation. Choose your focus and energize your experience with the love vibration. Choose your life. Choose love.