Monday Matters: Because… by Iyanla Vanzant
On any given day, at any given time, in any given city, you can find an individual who is blaming someone for something unpleasant they are experiencing. It seems perfectly reasonable, even logical that this individual can point to some external reason for the upset, difficulty, discomfort or pain they find themselves in at any given moment. If you are not careful or conscious, you could be tempted to agree that your difficulties are caused by someone or something other than you!
This would mean that you will fall into the trap of “B&P,” Blame and Projection. It would also indicate that you do not recognize your power to create your own reality and chose the experiences you desire.
When it comes to Blame and Projection, children are masters of the craft. They engage in the practice effortlessly when they claim, “Look what you made me do!” Or, “It’s not my fault!”
Overwhelmed mothers are often frequently smitten by the, “You are giving me a headache!” bug. Husbands frequently swallow the, “You make me feel . . .” pill. Wives have a tendency to dish out a heaping dose of, “I didn’t think you would . . .”
There are, however, those on the path of seeking and finding enlightenment; those who know that the most powerful response to any challenge is Be-Cause.
Let me speak in first person so that I am not pointing the finger outward just in case I am the only one to whom this applies. One of the most painful and challenging lessons I have learned in my personal development was that I am the at the root of the cause of every experience in my life.
How can that be?
I didn’t make them . . . I did want or ask him to . . . I had nothing to do with the way she . . . How could I be the cause of this or that mess in my life?
My thoughts, reactions, expectations and judgments determine what I see and what I experience. If I think about something long enough and attach an emotion to it, I am creating something I must experience. That makes me the cause.
When something happens that I determine good or bad, right or wrong, just or unjust, I will have an emotional reaction that determines how I experience what has occurred. It is my reaction not the thing itself that determines how I feel next and what I do next. That makes me the cause.
Not the cause of what happened but the cause of what I feel about it.
When I expect things should be a certain way and they do not turn out that way, I have a reaction. I never stop to consider the benefits of how things are. In most cases I fall head-first into the disappointment of how they are not. That is what causes my upset.
OMG! It’s not the thing at all! It is me! I am the cause – - – not of the experience but, I am the cause of the experience I have in response to an experience. Does that make sense?I hope so because it is the only way to claim the power of your mind and make sense of the experiences in your life.
I will be the first one to admit that there are some things that happen in our lives that seem as if they should not happen. For these experiences I offer you what I learned from A Course In Miracles; “All things are lessons that God would have us learn.”
I also admit that some lessons are much more difficult than others and, some lesson make no sense to me whatsoever! By the same token, I have discovered that when I remove my ideas of what should and should not be; when I resist the temptation to make them wrong and myself right; when I give myself permission to feel whatever I feel and not make anyone else responsible for my feelings, things look different and I feel very different.
I will never say that a child who experiences abuse or violation is the cause of that experience. What I can accept is that they are the “cause” of how that experience impacts their lives. I would be hard-pressed to offer that someone who was harmed by a criminal behavior or betrayed by someone they trusted or falsely accused of something they did not do is the cause of the event.
However, I do recognize that at all times, in all situations, under all circumstances, each individual chooses their response to the situation and circumstances by which they are confronted. If at any time we find that we are in despair as a reaction to anything or anyone, we are the cause of the despair.
I know! I get that it is a bitter pill to swallow. It is also the only medication that will heal us of being a victim of anyone or anything. When you accept that you are cause you do not suffer. Instead you are empowered to create and re-create, in your mind, what you experience moment-to-moment.
In a recent conversation with a distraught newly-wed, I offered this response to her every complaint about her beloved, Be-Cause. She thought I was asking a question. In reaction to my responses she went deeper into the experience, pointing out everything wrong with him. He was the reason they were in debt. He was the reason the house was always a mess. He was the reason for everything wrong with her and what she was convinced would be the destruction of their marriage.
It took a moment before she realized that I was not asking a question but rather, I was offering a solution, Be-Cause. Be the one who creates the shift. Be the one who forgives. Be the one who holds the space. Be the one who stands prayerfully in knowing that in every experience you are growing, healing and learning. Be the one who gives what you believe is missing. Be-Cause instead of blaming the effects. Blaming is a reaction. Cause is a response that requires the appropriate recognition of the power at your disposal.
About Iyanla Vanzant:
Iyanla Vanzant is the best-selling author of five books on self-empowerment, personal growth and spiritual healing. As the founder and executive director of the Inner Visions Spiritual Life Maintenance Network, she conducts workshops, seminars and lectures nationally. Drawing from her own experiences of family dysfunction, abuse, and poverty, Iyanla encourages us all to look at ourselves, laugh at ourselves and then take the necessary steps to heal ourselves. Her practical message is based on the principles of universal law, self-determination and the power of Spirit. You can learn more about her work at www.innervisionsworldwide.com.
Iyanla has recently appeared several times during Oprah’s Lifeclass webcast segments. You can view the classes here: http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/oprahs-lifeclass.html
Iyanla has a new show, set to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Network, called “Iyanla, Fix My Life!”. To learn more about it and apply to be on Iyanla’s show and have her help you, please visit http://www.oprah.com/ownshow/index.html?team_type=HarpoStudios