By David Steele
One of the hardest things for me to accept is that I create my own outcomes, whether I like them or not, my failures as well as my successes.
As a child of divorce I swore that when I got married it would be for life, yet I’ve been married and divorced twice. I wish it were different, but that is the reality I must accept about my life, and since I made my relationship choices, I can’t blame my exes, my mother, father, or anyone else for my outcomes.
FATE AND DESTINY
I strongly believe in taking ownership for my life, choices, and outcomes, so much so that I call it The Most Important Relationship Skill. While my actions and choices largely determine my outcomes, as silly and incongruous as it might be, I also believe in “fate” or “destiny,” that things happen as they’re meant to happen. This force can also be called “The Law of Attraction,” which helps me to embrace and accept “what is,” believing that I’m exactly where I need to be, going where my life purpose needs to go.
I don’t believe in chance or randomness. Things happen for a reason. When something happens that I don’t like (divorce, car accident, etc) I’ve found that if I ask myself “What’s the purpose or reason for this event?” I can always come up with one pretty easily, especially if I’m honest with myself. And darn it, the answer always seems to be something I need to learn, something the Universe is trying to teach me, that I’m resisting. As RCI member coach LeAnn O’Neal says “Each painful moment is an opportunity for new expansion.” I’ll try to remember that next time…
After 50 years on this planet I finally “got” that “what you resist, persists,” and learned to examine and accept life’s lessons. My attitude used to be “I know” and “I can handle it” and “I have it under control” (hey, at least it wasn’t “It’s their fault” and “Why me?” and “I deserve it!”). Now my attitude is a little more humble, such as “What do I need to learn?” and “What’s the reason or purpose behind this?”
I’m very clear now that my outcomes are determined by how I show up, which is largely driven by my attitudes. What’s inside shows up on the outside and what I’m thinking will become reality, so I must monitor and make conscious choices about what I allow my thoughts to focus upon. Wow, not only do I need to take responsibility for my actions, I have to own the consequences of my private thoughts and beliefs!
THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION
If you’re single and would prefer to be in a fulfilling relationship, I’m playing with the idea that the most important coaching question for you is “Why are you single?”
“Why” doesn’t mean “What happened?” or “Whose fault is it?” In this case “Why” refers to big picture questions such as “What is the purpose or reason for you being single at this time in your life?” and “What do you need to learn that is getting in the way of your relationships?”
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO LEARN?
If you’re single and want a life partnership, what are the major life learnings or lessons that must be mastered before you can find your soul mate and live happily ever after? Here are five possibilities that occur to me-
- Heal old wounds (emotional baggage)
- Learn relationship skills (we’re not born with a manual)
- Learn to accept responsibility for your life, needs and outcomes
- Identify and change unproductive habits and patterns
- Identify and change unproductive attitudes and beliefs
As I review the above honestly I can see the things that my two divorces helped me to learn. As I look back on all the events that happened in my life that didn’t go the way I wanted (like the time I crashed my sailboat on the rocks of Alcatraz) I can see they all happened for a reason related to one or more of the above that I needed to learn.
To paraphrase Jim Rohn, “Life doesn’t give you what you want, need, or expect; Life gives you what you need to learn.”
So, if you’re single and reading this, why are you single at this time in your life? What do you need to learn to find and have a fulfilling relationship? I sincerely hope your answers to these questions lead you to the life and love that you really want.