“Wherever you go, there you are.”– Eckhart Tolle. It took me decades to understand that no matter how much I blame my circumstances on other people, no matter how far I run, there I am, at the center of every problem of my life. No matter how much I deny my own role in my own pain and suffering, I am the only one at the heart of every situation.
No matter where I move in this world, and I have lived in many countries, there is no way of escaping that reality I create for myself. Your life patterns, your habits, your choices, your issues will follow you everywhere, until one day you realize it is not the world that is ruining your life, it is you. You are center stage of your life’s drama, and only you create your own saga. Other people are just characters who possess the traits, habits, problems and issues that you need to learn your life’s lessons.
For example, I always wondered why my life is full of controlling manipulative people. I left every man who was managing my life, I broke up with my own father, I moved away so I wouldn’t have to see them again, and the farther I went, the more friends I made who also had control issues and manipulated me into giving them the kind of friendship or relationship they needed from me. I would never even realize this could turn into something toxic until I got stabbed in the back, lost money, got cornered. On the outside it may seem that I had bad friends, but on the inside I was choosing people to be in my life, I was attracted to certain kinds of men, I mistook control and subtle signs of manipulation for confidence, strength, masculinity- that was all my own program.
There are countless other patterns repeating themselves throughout my life. My inability to defend my boundaries, my fear of speaking my own truth, my preoccupation with injustice, drew me into situations where I experienced exactly that through other people. Each time I believed that those people were creating the problems in my life. It wasn’t until I realized that this is my life, I own it, I own my creation, that I realized that I am the only one who holds the responsibility to change it. Running away from “bad people” never solved my problem. Instead I attracted even more boundary crossers, more liars, more egomaniacs.
Each person brought into my life the harshest lessons I needed in order to teach me how to deal with my own insecurities, weaknesses, how to defend my own boundaries by speaking up. Once I took responsibility for learning how to speak up, I noticed that things started to shift in my favor. One boundary defended, a little respect earned for myself. It felt good to learn to speak my truth, even though it was painful. It felt good to stop running away and face, even call out manipulators. Once you start fixing your own reality, you start to feel more powerful.
A lot of women think that they are failing at relationships. What they don’t realize is that was just one lesson, and if you haven’t mastered the lesson, you will keep entangling with more people who bring you the same issues until you learn to say no, or stand up, or speak up, whatever your handicap is. You haven’t failed at anything, you just haven’t mastered your voice, your confidence, your boundaries, you have not learned to value yourself enough.
In my opinion, the purpose of those many “failed” relationships is to teach you to value yourself most of all, to make choices that honor you first, to strengthen your dignity, to understand that you steer your own wheel in the direction you want. How good could a relationship be if you haven’t learned that? The toughest situations in life are all about you and your self-mastery.
I do see that a lot of women aren’t interested in that. Many just want to get married. They think I will feel better, I will be better as soon as I find someone who will give me the stability, the love, the home and child that I want. They really don’t care about self development. They assume that their “Self” will be cured once they attain that goal. So they keep chasing, they keep bending over backwards, standing on their heads, thinking that if they can adjust to other people’s expectations of them, they will master those people, It doesn’t matter if those people are bosses, friends, family members or lovers, you never win someone’s respect, you never earn their trust by adjusting your “Self” to their needs or expectations. If you are not ready to take responsibility for your own patterns, your own life, you are not ready for the kind of relationship you dream of. Who will trust a woman who compromises her own truth? Who will respect a woman who neglects her boundaries just to score a little bit of love? No one.
“Wherever you go, there you are.” Your journey isn’t about negotiating your pain with other people, it is about creating yourself, mastering your own habits, choices, taking full responsibility for what happens to you, and dealing with it on your own terms, in a way that honors you. In the end, you can’t run away from you, so you may as well master yourself.
PS. The quote “Wherever you go, there you are.” is a quote used by many people, and a title of a book written by yet another author. I attributed it to Eckhart Tolle, but it is a common saying.