2. Me. This is about me. “Before there can be conflict there must be doubt and that doubt is always about myself.”
When I am upset or in conflict, it is never about another person or an external situation. My old voice comes in, “Yeah right,” it tells me, “this time it really is their fault!’ I am so used to thinking (and saying) about others, “you are so annoying”, “you infuriate me”, “she is so depressing”, “he is so domineering”, etc. In other words, I am very used to seeing the cause of my upset as outside of myself. Sometimes I even get friends to agree with my point of view and then I get to be right. But now I have to ask myself, “Would I rather be right or happy?”
In truth, the conflict is never about anyone else. I must trust this step even if when I don’t believe it. Without this step, peace and joining will not happen. “Okay, okay, so it’s about me.” I tell myself, “I accept that blaming anyone for this conflict will not get me what I really want. And what I want is to be happy, to be at peace.”
The benefit of taking complete ownership of my upset is to realise that I am the author of my experience; I can determine how I feel in any circumstance. I choose my experience, not the situation.
Most of us are used to perceiving ourselves as victims of the outside world. But when I accept that I am the author, I have to let go of blame. The good news is that I have to let go of all blame, not just the blame on others but on myself as well. Remember the earlier line that upsets are gold? Blaming others and/or blaming myself only serves to strengthen a negative belief about myself. I must learn to take responsibility – which is essentially empowering – without any blame. I can assure you that when I practice just this simple step: ‘it’s about me’ all my relationships are well on their way to being magically transformed.
It's About Me!
This is arguably the most difficult of the Six Steps, but, if you're willing to take the challenge, the most rewarding! Step Two is the key to unlocking the door to the root cause of the upset — A false belief I hold about who I think I am.
Let's hear from Diederik:
It's easy to see how this Step might be a difficult one. There are few among us who do not instinctively look for someone to blame when something goes wrong. In the example Diederik talked about it's hard to see initially how it is NOT the boy's fault—he kicked the ball, he broke the window, and all after he was told not to play ball in the yard! When we look at this rationally, we can see that kids will be kids, they will break windows, they will ignore their parents. What good does it do for anyone to be upset when something like this happens? The parent will be stressed, there will be a strain in the relationship between parent and son, the son may take on guilt, and none of this fixes the window! As we will learn, none of this is really about the window.
Nothing Has Gone Wrong
Assigning fault, labelling 'good' and 'bad', 'them' and 'us', is a big part of the evolution of the human race. Our survival often depended on our acceptance and belonging in a tribe, and that meant my tribe had to be 'right', and yours 'wrong'. This is still a major part of our thinking, which is very evident in our culture today. So when something happens to us, our first instinct is to cast blame, assign fault, and we will find lots of people to agree with us. However, none of this brings true healing, true peace, and that is what this work aims to do.
By taking the position that 'nothing has gone wrong' I allow myself to be open to discovering what the upset is for—what false belief has just been triggered in order to be healed. If I stay in the old way of thinking, I close myself off to discover and keep myself small. This teaching profoundly alters my experience in the world. Hear more from Diederik:
The Author of Your Life
This is the real gift of this work. Remember when we said in the last module that upsets are gold? That very much comes into play in Step Two. Step Two hands us back the reins of our life, it puts us back in the driving seat. Here, we get to drop the story that keeps us stuck and victimised.
Letting Go of the Story
When we drop the story, and examine how and why we perceive things the way we do, or rather, the 'I' that is doing the perceiving, we give ourselves the power to change that 'I', and create a new future. New possibilities open up, possibilities that our old selves may not have been able to dream of, but we have to drop the story in order for that to happen.
VIDEO TO COME
LETTING GO OF STORY GUIDED MEDITATION NOT RECORDED YET
Whatever I’m upset about is about me – not about the other person or situation. Always.
We cannot be victims – it seems we can be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but whatever happens to us does not affect who we are in Truth.
There can be no blame (remember never ever goes wrong, so there is no-one and nothing to blame).
We are the authors of our experience. We make up our ego identity and it chooses our experiences for us.
Do not believe your own story – it is a victim story and you made it up.
The only thing we have to lose is our story.
And who would we be without our story?
This is the most difficult step of all – it changes everything and how we view the world. It gives us total responsibility – 100% accountablilty - for our experience in life and that is at once freeing and terrifying!
Think back to two or three times recently when you have blamed someone for making you angry or otherwise disturbing your peace.
Fill in the blanks:
My upset about ___________ was not about _____________, it was about Me! (incident) (other person)
Repeat for as many incidents you can think of. You may resist this initially, but this is the step that will bring tremendous relief.
How does it feel to let go of blame of others and of yourself? Are you willing to do this? What might prevent you?