How did you get to where you are?
In my last blog, I raised the question, “where are you?” Hopefully, you’ve given some serious thought to what it is that is causing some real discomfort and pain in your relationships or other areas of your life.
You know that getting that problem resolved would make life much more pleasant and easier for you. You may think you know the problem, but where do you start to fix it?
Even if you have identified the real problem, it’s quite another thing to know how you got there, or admit it if you do know.
In the Genesis story, Adam is aware of his spiritual alienation from God. But his response to God about his separation from God reveals an unwillingness to accept the underlying reason for his dilemma. His excuse: “The woman you put here with me, she gave me some of the fruit from the tree and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:12). He wants to deal with a symptom, and evades the real underlying issue. He has a “spin” on the problem.
Each of us has our personal “spin” or explanation about how we came to where we are in life. You may have been given faulty maps or directions by the authority (parents) in your life. A functional or dysfunctional background, good or bad choices about marriage, and many other things help explain who we are. This may give some understanding of why you are where you are. However, there is usually more to it than that.
How did you get to where you are? Dodging the issue by blaming other people or considering what’s happened to you as bad luck doesn’t completely address the problem of how you got to where you are. Yes, some people may have mistreated you or even abused you. But, what has been your role, your compliance, your RESPONSE to what has happened to you?
It seems we live in a culture of victimhood, “Who I am and what I do is not my fault.” What’s your problem? Maybe you’re in a difficult marriage or you are deep in debt. Why? What role have you played in your situation? What decisions have you made or refused to make that help account for how you got where you are?
How did you get to where you are? I understand how and why people get to really difficult places in life. But, tragically some people are stuck in those places because they are more afraid of what will happen if they make a change. They had rather stay in the mess they are in than change their life. The misery they have is “known.” And as foolish as this may sound, they are willing to remain stuck in the known problem rather than take the chance to do something different. Think about that. Are you refusing to make some choices that will ultimately be good for you because you are lazy or too scared to take that step?
How did you get to where you are? You may be where you are because you are too lazy to try or afraid of the consequences of changing. Sometimes it takes a lot of pain to convince a person of the need to change.
The solution to the problem lies in our will, a deeper level than some people are willing to go. Knowledge about how we got to where we are is necessary, but not enough to change really tough situations. It is helpful to understand the various factors involved in where we are in life. But that understanding is good only to the degree that we use that information to motivate us to move beyond where we are.
We have a choice to stay on the same path or change course. Although we may resent the idea that our choice has much to do with where we are, we will never change until we accept that fact. To some degree, our choices, or lack of them is why we are where we are.
How did you get to where you are? Most of us are where we are in life because of our choices. We may not choose what happens to us but we can choose how we respond to what happens to us. A few months ago I posted a blog entitled “My Choices, My Character, and My Destiny” that I think you may find helpful in considering the role our choices play in our life. https://www.cosdavis.com/my-choices-my-character-and-my-destiny/
This picture is symbolic of the choices we have in life. You have come to a decision point, and you can only take one path. One path is the way you have been doing the things that got you to where you are. The other represents the option to change, to make different, healthier choices. But this path is unknown and scary. Will you play it safe and remain stuck or will you ask God for the courage and help to take a new path?
So, how did you get to where you are? It is only when we are willing to be honest and vulnerable about our role in the problems we face that we can grow and respond in healthy ways. Until we come to that point, we will remain stuck on that path or in that situation that will continue to produce the pain and dysfunction we are now experiencing.
How did you get to where you are? How will you answer this question six months, a year, or two years from now?
Here’s something extra if you’ve answered the question “how did you get to where you are?” and are struggling in your marriage. https://www.verywellmind.com/why-relationships-fail-5206956#:~:text=The%20main%20reasons%20why%20relationships,to%20come%20to%20an%20e
Also, I recommend you take a look at my book Marriage is What You Make It. https://www.cosdavis.com/product/marriage-is-what-you-make-it/