Owning your Shit by Willemijn Laan
Let’s take some time to talk about owning your own shit. Or projection. Or actually about how to let go of projection in order to move towards owning your shit and conscious connection with people around you. 😉
Did you know that projection is one of the major problem causers within relationships?
Projection is the act of denying that you are creating the experience you are having. Instead of acknowledging that you are the source, you get caught up in the ‘who did it’ to you. The amount of projection that occurs in most relationships is mindblowing. And it’s one of the major causes of conflict between two people. Look into almost any struggle and you’ll find projection. And the people who most resist taking responsibility are often the ones projecting most.
There was this couple I spoke with who had the same fight for years. She blamed her husband that she was not able to go out with friends at night during weekends because he often had to work on weekend evenings and nights. She missed seeing that she was actually the one herself not taking action in making plans with friends on the evenings her husband was at home on weekdays or on weekend nights when he did not have to work. This shows that projection causes a lack of taking control and responsibility of what is happening to you in your life.
Projection comes in several forms. The most common is seeing in someone else a feeling that is actually going on inside of you.
For example, you fail to make moves towards freedom and then can only see how much your partner limits your freedom. Another form of projection is to blame someone else for something that is actually going on inside of you. You would say “He made me furious” while the truth actually is to say ‘I am furious. Something he did triggered me”.
You should always look inside and take responsibility for your own feelings, wants and needs. Blaming someone else for what happens to you, will not bring you anywhere.
There is only one way out of projection and that is by taking 100 percent responsibility for creating everything that goes on in your relationships. The negative and the positive are both to be claimed by both people. In an argument the question now becomes: How am I creating this conflict and how can I give and receive more positive energy? And the question will not be anymore: Why is he or she doing this to me? Or Why isn’t he or she doing more in the house?
This means that you’ll be shifting from being a victim into being the source of what is happening to you.
My main source of inspiration, Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks, wrote about this: “many people don’t realize that in a relationship between two people there is 200% responsibility to be divided between them. But when two people fight over the division of 100% responsibility, a power struggle is inevitable. A 50-50 division will not do it. Only 100-100 will. You will create what happens to you.”
They also write about the counterargument you can come up with when hearing this, like: “But what about violence happening to me? Do I create someone coming up to me drunk and beating me up? Or what about getting into a terrorist attack? Are the victims responsible for what a terrorist has done to them? Of course not.” They say… “but are you willing to be responsible for your life regardless of what other people are doing to you? Or are you going to keep avoiding responsibility for your life because bad things are happening to you or anywhere in the world? We have to take responsibility now and not get caught up in whether we were responsible back when someone was doing things to us when we did not have control over it.”
There was another couple who I had a talk with and they were in the middle of a divorce. The ex-husband was blaming the ex-wife for still being angry at him for breaking up the marriage. Because, in his eyes, his ex-wife did not want to lose him. While in reality the ex-wife was trying to create a life without him, only calling or texting him every now and again to communicate about the children. The fact that she was pulling back and starting her own life made him pull on her more. Which made her annoyed and angry at him for not letting her go. Which made him think she was not over him yet. All the while he was actually the one feeling sad and alone that they did not have the relationship and friendship anymore like they used to have. Pulling on her more when she created distance… Do you see the spiral pattern here?
That is why you want to be owning your shit.
Responsibility requires taking ownership of your limitations and admitting your shortcomings. Like the places where you can do better in life, the relationship skills you need to improve, your triggers, past hurts, and fears, unhelpful coping mechanisms, and your maybe neurotic and compulsive behaviors.
Because all skills can be improved. As long as you’re willing to hold yourself to a higher standard and do the work.
And this is easy when you know how it works, but not easy to start with. It can be a big change that needs time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first (ten) time(s)…
The problem is that our unresolved relationship baggage tends to create blind spots. Which, being a blindspot, makes it hard to see.
Owning your shit means that each time you get into a fight with someone, or any type of situation where you feel uncomfortable, sad or afraid. You can ask yourself ‘what was my part in this situation?’ Did I lack the ability to tell the truth about my feelings to my partner? Growing my own feeling of not being heard or seen? Leaving my partner touching in the dark about why I’m being so distant?
Ask yourself; “How am I creating this conflict?” This is about looking deeply at your own 100% part of the situation. How do you generally react and how is your partner reacting to it? Then you can ask yourself “How can I do something different here and give and receive more positive energy?”
You have to be willing to show up and to let yourself grow. To continually be curious about your own reactions and where they are coming from and to be fully open and receptive to the, maybe different than yours, opinions of your partner. This can be very hard because we all have our beliefs.
But let’s take a moment to have a look at your own patterns. Do you consistently approach your partner with genuine care and attention?
- When they speak, do you listen with presence and interest?
- Do you respect their opinions, even if they’re different?
- Do you actively check in about what’s going on in their life, and how they feel about it?
And not filling it in for them? Or responding to it as if it’s your own life they’re talking about?
This is something to take into account when you get into a conflict that happens more than once. Check-in with yourself and find ways to improve your communication and your own 100% part in the situation. Give yourself time and appreciation for trying and doing better each time around.
PS: want to learn more about how to establish a conscious connection within your relationships? Check out my Conscious Connection Course