When I was teaching I would give my lesson plans freely to teachers, only to find a few would abuse it and put their name on it because they changed a page in the entire unit. Again, I was feeling manipulated and used.
Fast forward to a few years ago when I began to be a business owner. Did it again. Give, give, give to a point where eventually some started to abuse my generosity. Manipulation began to take place and I once again was feeling used.
Even as I write this, it is still happening to me. But today I see the TRUTH! Today I know that it is 100% my responsibility to change this pattern, this habit, this IDENTITY.
Have you ever been someone who did someone a favour once thinking that would be the only time you would do that, only to catch yourself doing it again, and again and again? Now - I do recognize that there is a difference between being kind and giving (your time, money, effort to someone because that is what we do as humans, we help one another) and giving to the point of becoming manipulated or used.
My post today is not an attempt to say, stop giving to others. It is entirely the opposite - keep giving to people without expectation - yes I said that, without expectation. However if you notice the signs that your giving becomes EXPECTED by certain people or groups, may it is time to rethink who you are giving to and how you are giving. Because if your giving becomes a habit that others expect more and you now feel obligation to give your time, money or support than it might be possible that YOU have created this pattern and only YOU can change it.
In my business it is simple for me to give so much that I enable people rather than empower them. I may do something for them (that they are responsible to learn to do for themselves-with my support if they choose) but because they give me a great story about why they can't learn right now, I have been the one to go ahead and do it for them to help out and "get it done". This is where I've recognized the identity I've mastered...and one that I know I am responsible to change. If I keep doing for others, without teaching the skills so they can do it for themselves, I am the only one making the biggest mistake, because what I am really teaching in this situation is that "if you don't have time to learn it, I will do it for you". YIKES, what have I created? A sure fire way to crash and burn. No one, not one person can keep doing for others without teaching them to do it for themselves, we cannot physically keep up to this expectation - but ironically if this happens, we are responsible, we created this habit.
I'll admit that even today it is happening and I declare that this will be the LAST time. I said it, the LAST time I will do something without teaching it. Or will it be the last time? Habits are hard to break, especially when they become who you are - your identity. Yet I am smart enough to know that I've created this and I am the only one who can un-create it. The only fool is the one who fails to change the habit.
What is happening in your life because you've made it your identity? What are you ready to break or un-learn so that you can learn how to live a more empowered and fulfilled life? Are you doing things for others and realizing that you are now becoming manipulated to do more of what you offered to do before? Is it now expected of you? Or have you somehow become addicted to the feeling you get because when you do what others may be expecting, you feel validated, worthy, and finally as if you are enough in this world - even just for that moment?
What if, just what if - today you declare to yourself that you are willing to STOP? That you respect yourself enough to stop doing what you've always done - to please others, to feel adequate.
Something else I have recognized that I've been doing - which has become an addiction is that I can easily live in drama and I can complain about anything. YET - what is that doing? It is somehow telling me that to feel alive, something must be wrong. To feel worthy, I want to feel validated in knowing that others have heard my drama and conflict. Don't we all become guilty of playing this role at times in our life?
Here is what Rod Hariston says in his book, Are you up for the Challenge, when talking about the role of the Victim.
Someone is always taking advantage of the Victim. Somehow, he always ends up on the short end of the stick. He expects people to abuse him, or lie to him, or hurt him. If he would look objectively at his life, he would realize that this happens over and over and over again. Sometimes a Victim will think, "maybe that's just my fate; I was born to be a victim." Many times he doesn't even realize that he has a choice in what happens to him.
The Victim sees himself perpetually at the mercy of people, circumstance and situations around him. The majority of his focus is on himself and how he is affected by the outside events, and his mood is controlled by what is happening in his world at that moment. To him, the world is a place where negative experiences are to be expected and people are not to be trusted.
What if today is the day we take 100% responsibility for where we've already been and where we are now and where we are going?
What if today is the day we learn about ourselves and why we do the things that we do so that we can break the cycle and create a new identity that is more empowering?
What if today is the day we DECIDE to stop creating chaos, drama and pain?
What if today is the day we stop complaining about the things we all have the potential to change?
WOW! Look at that list of What ifs. That list alone, if done, would set us all free from the chains that (guess what?) we created ourselves.
Ahhhh, doesn't that feel better?
Make today GREAT, Love Tara