Friday, April 2, 2010

Do You Possess Your Life or Do You Endure It?

Here is a partial line from a P.D. James novel: “. . . preserving always the same look of puzzled acceptance of a life which had to be endured rather than possessed.” Do you possess or endure your life (or any part of it) at this moment?

Every day, each of us endures something, even if inconveniences of greater or lesser magnitude—considering some endure much more than most of us will ever have to think about or ever want to.

If you find you face a challenge or situation you believe you can do nothing about, take possession of it, meaning take possession of how you relate to it.

When you take possession of something, you take care of it and care for it; or, at least, that is the idea and responsibility of possession. Yet, self-possession is not the message most people are given about their lives, their self-worth, or their personal happiness and fulfillment.

Do you feel you possess all aspects of your life?

In order to do and be that, you’d have to possess your beliefs, feelings, thoughts, words, and actions—and your ability to shift into this owner mode when something rattles you out of harmony (please release the belief that you are “supposed” to stay in one emotional state of being at all times).

You’d have to possess or own the choices you’ve made and the outcomes they’ve created up to this moment (preferably as life lessons rather than reasons to self-judge), and as you continue forward. You’d have to decide if what you experience causes you to endure life or to live what you desire, “desire” meaning you deliberately choose how you wish to experience yourself and your moments, and from what chosen level of awareness.

Henry Ford said, "Don't find fault, find a remedy."

You can decide to take possession of what you choose to feel and do about whatever you feel you endure. When you do this, you are on your way to finding a remedy, first at the inner level, which may resolve an outer level matter. I say “may resolve” because though the inner level experience is always a priority (because it’s where YOU live), there are occasions when an outcome is a undesirable given and you have a responsibility to yourself to engage it in a way that supports you to have the highest level experience you can. This applies to those times when you find yourself in a scenario you believe you never would have chosen. But, what are you going to do with it? How and who will you choose to BE at such times?

There are aspects of your life you wholly possess at this time and, possibly, others you endure. Look at each part you endure and ask yourself how you might possess it.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “Not At All” and 10 being “Completely,” how much do you feel in possession of your life? What about how you choose to feel about your experiences? If, say, you’re at 6 for either of these, what would you be willing to do to make them an 8?

What might it feel and look like if you endure your life?
What might it feel and look like if you possess it?

Here’s a thought to play with:

Let’s say you believe your outer life reflects your inner life (emotionally-charged thoughts and beliefs); or stated another way, your outer life (experiences and outcomes) are created by your inner beliefs and thoughts. Now think of the holodeck in the Star Trek programs. If you were using the holodeck and wanted to alter something (scenery, character, story/plot, etc.), which would be more genuinely effective: trying to change something in the hologram or altering the program/pattern in the computer to affect the hologram? A change attempted at the outer level must start at the inner. You know this, but do you always give it proper attention or realize its point-of-origin importance?

There’s a fast-food philosophy about “change”: It’s supposed to happen overnight or nearly that. If you gain an extra twenty pounds, you don’t do it overnight. Neither do you lose it overnight. And a crash weight loss program may create a desired outcome, but it won’t last and it isn’t healthy. You haven’t taken possession of a healthier lifestyle. There’s no philosophical difference between how you effectively approach weight loss for the body from “weight loss” for your behaviors.

If you’re ready to wholly possess your life, start with understanding you have a right and responsibility to yourself to do it. Let go of the crash-diet approach and allow yourself to make choices about what supports you as you move forward—one “pound” (aspect) at a time. Whatever you can and cannot alter, seek head and heart alignment about any choice, and you will keep yourself on course and enjoy and appreciate the journey more.

You are what you practice.

You’re welcome to reprint this article as long as you use my complete bio.

You Are More! Empowerment Coach Joyce Shafer, author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say ( Details, her books and e-books, and current free weekly newsletter at

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