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How we respond to accident or abuse IS the result of an “inner decision.” This is not just a good-sounding theory, but what Viktor Frankl learned from his suffering in Nazi death camps. Frankl maintains that to make this "inner decision" is mankind's “final freedom.” — no matter how tragic or terrible, no circumstance can keep us from the freedom Frankl terms: Inner Liberty.
It's not What Happens to you in Life, but how
In life, the color and character of your responses are all important. The way that you react to hardship is a reflection of who you are from your core — your reactions reveal depth of heart and soul. Learning to respond well to life's most challenging moments leads to contented living. Who You Are from the heart defines whether poisoned or positive emotions will flow from you in a pressing moment. For this reason, Changing Your Stripes is a project of vital importance!
You Can't Change your Mind, using the Same Mind that needs Changing.
How can you possibly choose compassionate responses if your disposition is not presently compassionate? Breaking out of this self-perpetuating bind requires that you become a new creature from your core! The kind of creature that can be calm, patient, and compassionate even amid situations of mistreatment or abuse.
If you want to know what you're made of
You are the author of all your responses: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Embracing this principle is empowering, for if you are the ultimate author of your thoughts, behaviors, motives, and emotions, then you possess the final veto vote. Those who do not seize their Response-Ability, will eventually get stuck telling stale stories of justification and blaming others or circumstance for their victimhood.
While offensive behavior may necessarily Capture your
Who's to Blame? In response to the accusing query, “Who's to Blame?” . . . I've got two words: Wrong Question! When you ask a wrong question, . . . you will get a wrong answer! I recall a client who tried to put a percentage to blame he bore for creating his marital mire; he figured his contribution was about 66%.
Instead of dividing blame between the two interacting parties, all human beings get to own 100% of ALL the problem-making and problem-perpetuating that comes out of them! Whatever that is: however each person’s mess . . . manifests — be it a little or a lot, be it bad or good. Whether YOU are the larger or smaller offender, YOUR way out of every tangle is to own everything that comes out of you.
The irritating behavior of others
Owning Everything means owning all offensive-ness of course — this is the obvious conclusion. But Owning Everything that comes out of you also means something less obvious: Owning All your Response-Ability means . . . Owning All Offended-ness, too! David A. Bednar said this about being offended.
Certainly clumsy, embarrassing, unprincipled, and mean spirited things
In the Changing Your Stripes paradigm, we learn that Being Offended is just as offensive as Being Offensive. Being Offended is simply the response end of bad behavior, while Being Offensive is the constraint end of bad behavior.
Because Life is a Set Up, you could sing the “I'm-offended-by-your-offensiveness” song for the rest of your life. And if you are tempted to get stuck in the “but-they-did-it-to-me-first” excuse, then you might as well invoke the ultimate alibi: “but if Mom hadn't given birth to me, then I wouldn't have . . . yada yada yada.”
So, the hard-wired realities of this world ARE that you were born and that Life IS a Set Up, and the sooner you get used to it, get over it, and get on with it . . . the sooner you'll be Changing Your Stripes and responding in the productive patterns of the new creature you are becoming!
“Life is a Set Up” means that you live in a world of ever-pressing Constraints.
(Changing Your Stripes, p. 16-19)
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The Greatest Prize
The book, "Changing Your Stripes" presents principles for getting out of
"Mastering a challenging situation
"Changing Your Stripes," teaches you the principles that lead to lasting change,
If these ideas resonate and ring true,
Changing Your Stripes is a