We have a tradition in my family: we wash our own laundry, we raise our own children, and we clean up our own dirt.
One life is all we have, and it’s enough. One life contains plenty of joy, sorrow, exaltation, despair, astonishment, and cruelty. Why then do we borrow trouble? Every time we take responsibility for someone else’s deeds, whether they’re failures or successes, we’re borrowing trouble—just as we rob ourselves when we refuse to take responsibility for our own.
Somehow we learn to give away our powers of independent choice. Somewhere we learned to say,”You make me miserable,” and “Look what you made me do.” But we can unlearn these twisted borrowings; we can learn to stand straight, be ourselves, and own our own lives.
The power to be happy or miserable lies within us; when we give away our power to choose, we should be very sure what we’re getting in return.
If I feel trapped, let me look at how I built the trap, and how I can take it apart. Where I used to say,” I can’t, let me practice saying, “I won’t.”