Hear From USM Students (8 min)

Topic Progress:

We asked others who practice the skill of Responsibility I: Choice to share their experiences. Click the videos if you’d like to hear what they had to say.

Chemin – Transforming a Challenging Relationship with a Parent by Choosing Love
Lisa – Overcoming Divorce and Financial Hardship through Self-Honoring Choices

Additional Resources

Video Transcript: Chemin – Transforming a Challenging Relationship with a Parent by Choosing Love

Chemin: A specific situation that I experienced as challenging was my mother and I. We had a very conflicted relationship. I experienced growing up that my mother was extremely hyper-critical, in my perception very condemning, judgmental, paranoid, and a lot of that was directed toward me.

So, as I started working with the skills I was learning in Spiritual Psychology, I began to consider that I could actually have a different experience if I applied specifically, the skill of Responsibility I: Choice. And, as I looked at that, my—you know, my inner choices were that my attitude was that she was wrong. I was constantly blaming her. I was constantly judging her—the things that she said, the way that she acted.

And then the outer choice of that is that I would then try to get her to see reason and I would try to argue with her and rationalize with her and try to make her understand that she was wrong and I was right. So outwardly, I really was just perpetuating the situation because all I was doing was making us both really unhappy.

Having identified those inner and outer choices that I was making, I could actually explore some others that would actually serve me and perhaps, even help us have a different kind of relationship. And, I Loved that concept because in this skill, it doesn’t require that you commit to anything. You’re really kind of just playing, you now, and thinking outside the box about what is possibly available. So, that seemed like a really easy thing to do.

And, as I began to look at that, I began to realize that one inner choice that I could make would be to, you know, to simply, not allow myself to be defined by my mother’s opinion. And, the other thing that I could do inwardly is that I could just be in a place of Acceptance with her—to recognize that who she was, is—was this person. This is just how she’s done her life. And, I didn’t need to change that and I didn’t need to have an opinion about it really.

Then, a natural outward choice I could make would be to simply listen to her. Let her say everything that she needed to say but not be—not respond to it, not react to it—to just listen, to be in that place of listening.

And then, another one, which really seemed extremely scary for me, at the time, was that I could actually set some boundaries with her about how I wanted our conversations to go, that I could share with her the way that I wanted to communicate and how I wanted her to communicate with me and I could be willing to not have conversations with her if that wasn’t something she could do. Now, both of those things seemed extremely impossible to me, but I actually decided to commit to them and I did them.

And, the results were tremendous. I really started to reside in my own level of Acceptance, my own Loving. You know, I started listening to her. I stopped matching energy and, as a result, my mom did the same thing. She began to be more Loving. She began to not, you know, be as accusatory and all of that. And, that… What was significant to me, is that by me making a choice to simply be different with her, we had a different experience and it was not an experience I’d ever had with my mother in my entire life. What’s most significant to me about that is I made a choice to be in my Loving with her as kind of the underpinning of all of this and my mother, for the first time in her life, was able to receive and take in Love in a way that she never allowed herself to do before. And, that to me has been the blessing from doing this skill.

Video Transcript: Lisa – Overcoming Divorce and Financial Hardship through Self-Honoring Choices

Lisa: I can identify several situations that occurred at the same time that were extremely challenging in my life, and that would be—the ending of my marriage, the mental and physical breakdown of my soon to be ex-husband at the time, and the complete loss and obliteration of our wealth, of our fortune. We were foreclosed out of two of our homes and I had young children, at the time. This was a very intense period of time and I was so grateful. I thanked God every day that I had my USM education, that I possessed the skills.

And, what needed to happen next, was how was I going to take responsibility? How was I going to have responsibility for my choices, for my children, and move through these adverse conditions to a brighter tomorrow, fully believing that I had all the tools and resources—through my education—to do so, which is what I did.

As I was going through this, I realized that I had to change something within myself, that one of the ways I was going to ‘blossom,’ if you will, or come out the other side of this, was to allow myself the opportunity to explore options internally. The fear, the negativity, the paralysis were inner choices that I was making, that it was coming from within me and not someone or someplace else. I realized as I was in this fearful place that I was running tapes of old material and old insecurities about the ‘what if’s.’ What if there wouldn’t be enough? What if there wouldn’t be the resources there to help me get out of my situation? What if I became a statistic of homelessness, which was an irrational belief, but nonetheless it was a belief that I was holding when I was in the fear that was not helpful to me, that I was being crippled by, in essence by my own choice.

And, it was a period of consideration. There were a lot of options and when I realized that I had these options, that I didn’t have to make a decision one way or another, that I could use this vast part of my imagination to play out different scenarios, it became more spacious and there was not a pressing need to necessarily make a quick decision that might not have been the best for myself and my kids.

One of the inner choices that I explored was shifting my view from a victim consciousness—that this was being done to me—and replace it with I… responsibility that I had some role in what was happening and how was I going to explore ways of getting out of it and making the situation better—which gave me a sense of control back, dominion.

Outer choice, that I needed to leave the marriage, that I needed to take my children. I needed to move out. I needed to get good counsel. I needed to also create a plan to go on with my life and create a career after being a stay-at-home mom for twelve, thirteen years and having these wonderful skills, I now had to put them to good use, not only to serve myself but my children.

The choices that I made, both internal and external choices, not only served myself and my children but ultimately helped me serve others who are in great need of healing and support and transformation in their own lives. And, that is a… provides me with a huge sense of satisfaction and happiness.