To go into full-repentance mode or not?
Repentance is to take responsibility for the lack of good results in your life instead of blaming another person or another situation from the past.
In other words, it is admitting that we have made mistakes instead of justifying those actions and then repeating them for seemingly forever.
Not the funnest thing to do, to be honest. Life becomes a lot more complicated – and there is a lot more work to do.
Because, now, it means it’s on you… and you have to live with responsibility and ownership.
This begs the question. Why make life tougher by doing this?
The fact that we can always find an out makes it very tempting to make excuses – to cope by engaging in toxic behaviors instead of facing responsibility and taking guilt and remorse upon ourselves. To numb. To run away.
It would be a lot less work to run down this path. Most people take this path.
So, why repent instead? Why choose this way of life?
Why end up feeling like you’re always 100% responsible for the quality of your life? And even though that may not be 100% always true.
Why go through that work of going through every individual relationship and removing any “blame vibes”? And taking it upon yourself, a feeling of remorse and guilt?
And what happens if you don’t?
You will be living predictably. You will be stagnant. You’ll fail.
I know some people are going to late for work. I know some people will miss their work-out. I know some people will avoid confrontations.
I know they know that these habits are destructive to their lives.
Yet, there is no motivation for change. Just a constant desire to cope.
Coping is when we deal with the poor results brought to reality due to our mistakes instead of correcting them. The mistakes will continue as we are ignoring them because we are not in self-repentance mode.
In a vicious self-fulfilling cycle, we continually reap the poor results of being in a state of blaming instead of one of repentance, ownership, and positive change.
One way of dealing is anger. It helps us cope by getting rid of negative energy caused by our mistakes. Blame keeps us feeling right. Do you find yourself irrationally angry at everyone?
And so, we continually have more to cope with and more people to blame as we experience failure in life, as we are inevitably going to.
It’s as if blame were the mechanism that both weakens our will to act on correct action, and also removes the guilt and remorse that we need to experience in order to be humbled. This has a numbing effect.
Because the feeling of blame and resentment is so repulsive to those who are on the receiving end, we end up destroying our relationships and then, as a consequence, we need to find even more ways to cope.
Of course, down this path, we don’t fix the mistakes we make that let other people down because we don’t take admit to responsibility to them, further straining our relationships.
A death spiral.
When we cope – when we blame – we can never see what correct action is. We only see excuses and blame. It becomes impossible to improve our lives.
When we cope we also refuse to acknowledge how our negative behaviors are affecting those around us. We may even have some joy in causing pain in others since we also blame them for our mediocre lives. We become addicted to coping instead of actually changing.
Rationalization starts and we may even question whether there is such thing as correct action.
All around, “coping” is a toxic state of mind to be in. It will destroy your relationships and your chance at growth as a person.
On the other hand – repentance-mode.
Live as if everything is under control, and I’m going to figure it out. It’s up to me. It’s my responsibility. It’s me not you.
I always wondered why the feeling of repentance brings about more will-power and responsible correct action.
Perhaps if we feel the pain of guilt, and not run away from it, it causes us to have motivation to act in a way to stop that feeling with correct action.
With correct action, we will have better results.
The truth is, we can always do better. Perhaps seeing this truth illuminates our true path as well.
Additionally, those around us will notice that we are facing the troubles in our life with dignity and courage instead of cowardice. They will feel safe because we have unconditionally forgiven them. There won’t be any weird underlying resentment towards them.
Overall, it becomes a vibe.
They will be inspired because they see that this is the path they, deep down, also want to take in life.
What Repentance-mode is Not
Although we may not actually be 100% responsible for all the things that happen to us, and sometimes we do need to make others accountable, if we approach confrontations with a state of repentance, we will be far more effective in making others take responsibility.
That being said, repentance-mode is not letting others walk all over you and to let the toxic behaviors of others rule over you. This may be a misconception about this way of living.
Sometimes, taking responsibility for you have mistakes actually means you have mistakes of not making others accountable for their wrong-doings.
Taking on unnecessary guilt and remorse is not repentance, that is just being a people-pleaser. Blaming others is toxic, but so is taking on blame from others.
Unnecessary guilt and remorse just leads to more resentment and anger and that will still make it’s way into your life and destroy what you need and love.
Indeed, there is a fine line between taking massive amounts of ownership and being a martyr. Even though we take more responsibility, we still need to be fair and generous towards ourselves.
Fortunately, the amazing results you’ll get in your life because you face you have mistakes and take responsibility for them means you will have more power to be generous to yourself and more opportunities to shed away feelings of remorse and guilt to accept the love of others.
An obstacle that I’ve faced in my life is to forget how far I’ve grown and forgetting to reap the benefits of self-responsibility.
Indeed, this is an argument against being too extreme in any idea, even repentance. We may get stuck in feeling like we always need to work on things, and nothing is good enough. We can forget to reward ourselves for what we deserve.
Making time to enjoy things and relax may be difficult for those who are living in repentance-mode, but it is nothing compared to the problems of those who cope.
Work in Progress
There’s always more aspects of our lives we can take responsibility for .
If you take a moment to reflect on your life, there are areas where you are digging deeper and deeper into a hole. It may be emotionally painful to finally stop.
But it’s important to make it a goal to examine these areas closely and to change our perspective of it. To sit in the pain instead of run. To stop lying or blaming and face the truth even though it hurts.
It’s useful to always carefully observe whether we are dealing with a hardship in our life by coping and correct that behavior. One of the clear signs is a feeling of anger towards the situation.
Instead of going to the gym or starting a new diet, someone who is overweight may want to criticize their significant other for not being supportive enough. They may even want to blame their genetics.
The reality of poor health and an unattractive body brings pain and this is how they will cope.
Instead of working harder or improving his skills, someone who is hurting financially may want to blame the government, or for “inflation”.
Someone who is resentful will lash out with unfair criticism of others or negative toxic behaviors. They will be repulsive to those who are around them.
The rejection that they consequently experience will then result in pain in which they will need to further cope with. The coping replaces the correct actions that they need to take, and so the spiral continues.
Chances are, there is one thing in your life that you can start to face head-on and repent. Start today, and it won’t be long before the positive changes in your life will become palpable.