It’s All On You

Everything that happens in your reality, every problem that you face, every issue that arises, every disaster, every conflict, every crisis, EVERYTHING is yours to fix.

This simple idea has the power to change lives, if you have the balls to embrace it.

How often will we play the victim, shrugging and throwing our hands up in the air and saying “I have no choice”, or “he/she did this to me,” or “I wish it wasn’t this way but there is nothing I can do,” or “they are just evil and I’m just going to have to accept it”? All the damn time. It’s easy, it’s convenient, the onus is no longer on us to make any sort of change, and we can watch our lives crumble around us while comfortably cloaked in the garb of the victim.

The truth is that it’s all on you. Every single aspect of your world is yours to build, to fix, to fuck up.

That’s bullshit, you say. How is it on me that the majority of the country lives in poverty, or that the government is run by thugs and criminals, or that every known institution is incompetent, or that I’m using the laptop on UPS right now, or that our society is at least a century behind the civilized world in thought and action, or that my spouse is borderline retarded?

Look over the questions again carefully, and you might see, even in a small way, where you fit in. Each one of those situations could use from you some form of input beyond a shrug of the shoulders and goofy shake of the head and an hour long lecture on your impossible-to-implement solution to it all. Even if it’s only to say “that is not my problem,” as I do when a beggar approaches me. Sitting around and blaming and griping and complaining about situations without having any desire to fix them or the balls to completely wash your hands off them helps no one. Least of all yourself.

But let’s face it, this is easier said than done. As a society we love shifting blame away from ourselves, even if it means we’ll go on living shitty lives. We love talking about it too, because it gives us a semblance of involvement in our destinies. As long as we have someone bigger, badder, stronger than us to blame for our misfortunes, it’s at least digestible. Maybe this is some fucked up psychological artifact from the colonial days, who knows. But it’s real.

One needn’t look much further than the conspiracy theory soup we drink from on the regular. Jumbled, irregular, often fantastical explanations are given for why things suck so much, mostly just so we can hide from ourselves the simple fact that we aren’t doing a great job of looking after our own.

And on the personal level it’s the same story. My parents are forcing me to, or she told me to and I listened and now it’s all screwed up, or he doesn’t treat me right, or she wants to leave me, or my boss is making me work on the weekends, or my family doesn’t support my dream.

But it’s about how you look at it. Why do you see your parents as gods, why did you listen to her, why don’t you just fuckin’ leave him, why don’t you either let her leave or become a better man, why don’t you give your boss the finger or work harder during the weekdays, why don’t you just disconnect from the family if that’s what it takes? Why don’t you stop being a little girl and realize that it is all on you?!

If we can get over our sniveling for a second and actually embrace our input in any and every situation that involves us, we’ll realize that there is always a breadth of control that we can exercise, no matter how small or insignificant. And it’s on us to find it and feed it and expand it until it grows and our control of the situation increases. If everyone does this, who knows, maybe the entire course of this country would change.

And if it feels extremely difficult, I point you to one Dr. Victor Frankl. Survivor of four Nazi holocaust camps, living in conditions we can’t even imagine, watching people around him drop like flies, his body being tortured and mutilated, he stumbled upon this truth: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Even in the worst of conditions, it’s on you to choose how to behave. By the way, if you’re one of those fascists who think the holocaust never happened and all Jews are evil, leave this blog now and never come back.

It’s time everyone started taking responsibility for their own worlds. No matter how bad things get, no matter how bad things seem, there are two basic truths to any situation: it could always be worse, and it could always be better. The choice is yours; statically sitting around and complaining moves you towards one extreme, and seeking and exercising and expanding your control moves you towards another.

The decision is on you.

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