“Who died and made you the center of the universe? Everything that people choose to do does not revolve around you. Frankly, people do as they must.” After my second major relationship fell apart, I put myself into therapy. I felt like I was constantly making the same dumb mistakes over and over. The words that the therapist spoke almost knocked me off my chair. I raised my hackles and became totally defensive. How dare he intimate that I felt that I was the “Center of the Universe?” Well, guess what? He was right!
Every time someone did something that affected me or hurt my feelings, I felt they were doing this just because of me. I failed to realize that people and others have their own personal circumstances and motivations that cause them to take actions that serve their needs. What did these actions have to do with me? Great question. The answer was absolutely nothing.
So, why was I taking these actions so personally? Damned if I knew!
This advice gave me permission to not take every word and every action personally. In fact, it helped me begin to see that I had nothing to do with these actions and there was nothing I could do to change them.
If my mate cheated on me did I cause this to happen? If a co-worker was being “evil” was this my doing? If my son didn’t turn in his homework, was this somehow my doing? Not so much. To feel that these actions were somehow caused by me was setting me up to suffer and wallow in self-blame.
I have reached a point in life where I have no trouble sharing this philosophy with others. The person I still fight with is me. I have come far enough to at least recognize that I am blaming myself and taking things personally. I also realize that there is nothing I can do to change it or improve the situation. I can happily say that my recovery time has greatly improved. Occasionally, I still let my neurosis get the best of me. I am now able to see that these actions, words, and ideas are simply other people’s problems and not mine.
I am still working on not giving away my personal power. I know at many levels that I am not the “Center of the Universe”, only my universe.