Tonight’s post was inspired by an Instagram story. Beneath a photo of a smiling family, who lives on a renovated bus and travels around the country, was this quote from George Bernard Shaw:
“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”
What are Circumstances?
I love the words of George Bernard Shaw. Thinking about them, I looked up the definition of circumstance this evening.
Circumstance – noun – an event or fact that causes, or helps to cause, something to happen, typically something undesirable.
Circumstances are a set of conditions or a series of actions or a turn of events that lead to a particular outcome, usually one we don’t want. At least, that’s the perception.
Blame is a crucial factor here.
This happened as a result of these things.
Blame assigns responsibility for a fault or a wrong to someone or something else. Blaming circumstances becomes apparent when the word because pops up.
I can’t go to college because no one in my family has. (circumstance)
I’m stuck in this job/relationship/poor health because I’m too old/scared/tired to do otherwise. (circumstance)
Creating New Circumstances
What does it mean to look for the circumstances we want, or create new ones? It means we eliminate the because and all that follows it. We stop casting blame and assigning responsibility to someone or something else.
Circumstances shift when we take responsibility for who we are and our own actions. Perception shifts as well. And then the outcome opens to new possibilities.
Author, speaker and teacher Byron Katie uses a technique that’s helpful here, called the turn-around. The turn-around encourages us to look at new truths by turning our thoughts around.
I can’t go to college because no one in my family has.
Eliminate because and the belief after.
I can’t go to college.
Apply the turn around.
I CAN go to college.
Create new circumstances.
I CAN go to college and I will by applying for grants and scholarships.
Creating a New Life
The young couple in the Instagram photo sold their house, with the hopes of traveling as a family. They didn’t want to rent or buy another house. Their circumstances weren’t ideal for what they wanted to do. However, they created new circumstances. They bought a bus. Turned it into a home on wheels. And now…they travel. They are living their dream.
In my own life, I recently shifted my circumstances too. I moved from a limiting belief to a liberating one:
I can’t walk or do the things I want to do because a car accident damaged my back and legs.
I can’t walk or do the things I want to do.
I CAN walk and do the things I want to do.
I CAN walk and do the things I want to do and I will by looking at my health in a different way and asking for Divine guidance.
I quit blaming the car accident for my poor health. I quit accepting that circumstances were what they were and unchangeable. Taking back responsibility for my own health and asking the Divine for guidance opened possibilities which shifted my beliefs about the cause of my poor health.
You know the rest of my story. I am healed, walking without pain, and I am doing the things I want to do. Shifting the way I viewed circumstances and stopping the blame created a new life for me.
What circumstances are you blaming, for being where you are in life? How can you “get on in this world” and “look for the circumstances you want”? If you could make your own circumstances, what would they look like?
And finally what’s stopping you?
No blame. Accept responsibility. Shift and create. I’ll meet you on the road to a new life.