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Take Your Power Back: 5 Steps to Reclaiming Control of Your Life

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When you place blame on others you shift responsibility.
When you shift responsibility you give up power.
You are responsible for the way you feel and the actions you take.
When you accept that responsibility you empower yourself to find peace and health.

It’s very common to blame other people for the problems we may be experiencing. After all, we live in a finger-pointing society: everywhere you look there’s someone screaming, “It’s not my fault–it’s his!” Blaming others for how we think, feel, and act may give us some comfort in the short run, but in the end we’re doing ourselves a huge disservice. Until we learn to own our problems we can never really solve them.

The hard truth is that I, alone, am responsible for my thoughts and feelings. Even the common saying, “He makes me so angry!” is a lie I tell myself. No outside influence can make me angry. He didn’t make me angry–I reacted with anger because this person offended me in some way. Anger is an emotion I choose to feel in a given situation because I disapprove of the way a person acts.

So what does this have to do with health and healing? The stress associated with negative thoughts and emotions has proven links to physical health problems. For many people, the realization that they can no longer blame others for their own actions or emotions is the key that unlocks the door to healing.

Understand that I am in no way justifying perceived harm that others may have inflicted upon you. Consider this example: Ellen has an overly demanding mother. As she was growing up it seemed that nothing she did could please her mother: If she made a “B” on a test, why hadn’t she made an “A”? If she cleaned her room, why hadn’t she cleaned the kitchen also? Her mother continually called her fat, lazy, and selfish. Ellen has now moved into adulthood and taken on the responsibilities of a career, husband, and children, but she continually hears her mother’s voice as she goes through the day. She struggles to be the perfect wife, mother, and employee. Of course, she will never measure up to the impossible standard of proving her worth to her mother in everything she does.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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