Freedom Is Accepting Our Consequences
We live in a society that prizes freedom. At the same time we live in a society that is obsessed with finding out whose “fault” things are, who should be blamed for any given event. This emphasis on blame has lead to a defensive reflex of needing to justify why you couldn’t help what you did, or that what you did was really the fault of someone or something else. This fear of being blamed, and needing to avoid and defend has created a significant paradox that leads to anxiety and prevents learning and growth.
The paradox is that as long as you are defending against the consequences of your choices, you are not free to learn from them and make healthy changes in the present. The moment you accept the consequences of your choices, you are free to choose whatever you want. You cannot choose not to have done and experienced what you have up to this moment! You can choose what you will learn from this, what meaning and conclusions you will make about yourself and others. Notice your reactions to this truth.
The truth is that the more you use energy hating yourself and others for what has happened up until now, the less energy you have for starting where you are starting at this moment. In the same way, if you are consumed by fears of future consequences you are robbing yourself of making healthy changes in the present. You can’t do both at the same time. This is a difficult one for most of my clients to accept and embrace. It seems counterintuitive to most people; what are your reactions? Appreciate your resistances, learning deeply what they are saying.
Have you ever had the experience of accepting your consequences freely, with grateful humility and the desire to learn and grow from an unwanted experience? What did you notice? Powerful Vulnerability is the result of caring more about learning and growing than being right. When you shift your focus and goal toward growing, without judging, you greatly increase your ability to choose health in the present. Powerful vulnerability greatly increases your healthy power in your personal relationships.
Progress includes steps backwards with grace. Most clients start out the coaching process judging and hating themselves for the unwanted patterns that bring them to coaching. The first dozen times I suggest they “feel good about noticing” some dysfunctional pattern, they look at me like I’m crazy: “How can I possibly feel good about the fact that I have destroyed any chance of getting my wife back and some other guy will be raising my kids, in my house?”
I respond, “I’m not asking you to feel good about your starting point. I’m asking you to feel good about noticing what you can learn in your starting point, and seeing this noticing as an important step in beginning the change process.” Don’t expect yourself to get this truth immediately or perfectly, feel good about each step forward in your believing of this “Nugget” and learning from each step backward. Share this learning process with me in your journal. This is what makes core change possible. I believe God’s Plan of Grace captures this truth perfectly and allows us real freedom to grow. Can you give yourself the freedom to grow?