Many of us were raised on Fairy Tales...where Prince Charming rushed in to the rescue, the fairy Godmother waved her magic wand and made everything better... and where two lovers got married and lived happily ever after (without having to "work" at their relationship). Having grown up with these 'role models' is it any surprise that we expect life to be the same?
In the same way, we have spent years mistreating our body, creating overweight, back pains, tiredness, low energy, etc., and we expect the doctor, or healer, or counselor to come in and with a few 'magic' words or remedies, fix us instantly. For years, we went to doctors, explained our ills and expected that a pill or combination of pills and surgery would take care of it all. If the doctor dared suggest that our illness was psychosomatic, by saying It's all in your head..., we got indignant and promptly decided that he was a quack, and "what does he know anyway..."
These days with the reappearance of 'healers', the trend continues. I see it in my own attitudes about my 'stuff' and my life. It's the same old thing. We flock to healers for two reasons it seems. One, nothing else has worked. Two, this may be the magic wand we have been looking for. Fix me! Let me lay myself down on the healer's table and be made well! We ask..."Will this work?" as if, once again, someone else is doing the fixing and we are simply bystanders.
Who Can Really Fix Our Problem?
It seems that we look at our bodies and ourselves in somewhat the same way we look at our cars. We take our cars to the mechanic and expect the mechanic to fix it... Yet, let's take this analogy one step further. Once the mechanic has repaired our car by replacing parts that were broken or needed adjusting, what comes next? If the problem was that we were mistreating the car, and if we continue to do so, the problem will come back.
Same thing with us. The problem isn't really the physical manifestation, as in the headache, backache, stress, sinus problem, indigestion, etc. The problem is how we create those things in the first place — and that problem can not be fixed by any other than ourselves.
Is The Problem Really What It Looks Like?
If our 'problematic situation' lays in the fact that we are overweight or suffering from indigestion because we do not eat properly, that's the issue we need to address. This reminds me of a joke I read, and I paraphrase:
A man had severe pain in his scrotum. The doctor recommended surgical removal of the man's testicles...which he agreed to. After all the pain was so intense that it was worth it — if this would 'fix it'. So the operation took place, and sure enough the man had no more pain. A few months later, he walked into a store and saw his favorite kind of jeans on sale. He was ready to buy a few pair when the salesman remarked "Those are some good looking jeans. But the way they are built will give you a severe pain in the balls. I don't recommend them."
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Moral of the story? The symptom (the pain) was not the problem. The aching testicles were not the cause of the problem. The tight, ill-constructed jeans were.
Fix Me, Please!
When we expect the problem to magically disappear without addressing the cause, we are doing the same thing as this man... thinking that our behavior has nothing to do with our problem.
It sure would be wonderful if we could simply turn over responsibility for our lives, and our aches and pains, to someone else. However, it doesn't work like that. When I was doing counseling work, I repeatedly told my clients (and prospective clients) that I could supply them with insights and tools, but I could not do the work for them.
We are responsible to make the changes in our own life -- which then changes the results we are getting. To expect someone to fix us is to expect them to live our life for us. Mind you, we may have done that repeatedly in our past. We turned over responsibility for our decisions to our parents, our boss, our husband/wife, our friends, government, teachers, even to our kids. After all, it is easier to have someone else take the risk of making a decision... and then if it doesn't work out, well it's not your fault. Is it?
We Created the Problem in the First Place
The greatest teaching in the 'new thought' movement is that we are responsible for our reality. Whatever is taking place in our lives, we have created it, attracted it, or given it permission to be there. Even the teaching that 'everything is our mirror' supports the fact that we are responsible for what we see and experience.
Oh darn! It was so much easier when we could blame everybody else. We didn't have to do anything about whatever was troubling us because it was somebody else's 'fault'... we had nothing to do with it. Well, the good news is that it is our 'fault'.
What? Yes, that is good news. After all, the word fault is simply defined as "responsibility for something wrong". So, if something is wrong in our lives and needs fixing, then we are responsible, and that is good news. If we are responsible (able to respond) then we can 'fix it'. We don't have to wait for someone else to do it.... no Prince Charming, no Fairy Godmother, no super-healer or doctor.
Others can give us insights, can suggest things we can do, and can even give us moral support in doing what we need to do. Yet, the bottom line is that we have to 'fix it' ourselves. We, and only we, can change our attitudes and our behavior and take responsibility for changing what is unbalanced in our lives.
Who's Responsible Here?
Many people after a 'healing' or counseling session will ask: "Do you think this is going to work?" — affixing the responsibility for making it better on someone else. Any changes we want to have take place in our lives we need to do ourselves.
If you're unhappy at your job then you're the one who has to make a change... you either change your attitude, your expectations, your behavior, or you change your job. If you are feeling unfulfilled, then again the answer is not to go out there looking for a new love or a new challenge to 'fulfill' you. The answer lies in looking within and finding the source of those feelings and address the issue.
It's easy to "fix" ourselves once we take responsibility and face the facts. It's our life! We got yourselves into this mess, and only we can get yourselves out — maybe with a little help from our friends (both for getting in and out of the mess), but nevertheless, we have to do the work to resolve the problem. To expect otherwise is expecting Prince Charming or the Fairy Godmother to rush in and rescue us. It is fine and dandy to ask Higher Powers and friends for assistance, but we must participate and we must take action. And this applies also to our planetary challenges at the moment...
Which reminds me of another story...
Who Is Going To Rescue You?
A man is caught in a flood. As the waters are rising the neighbors invite him to get in their boat. He says no, he is waiting for the Lord to rescue him. As the waters rise even higher he sees a raft floating by... he thinks of jumping on it, yet decides no, he will wait for the Lord to rescue him. Later, as he sits on the roof of his house (the only spot which is not under water), a helicopter comes by and throws him down a rope ladder so he can come on board. His answer? No, I'm waiting for the Lord to rescue me.
The man drowns and finds himself face to face with his maker. He is upset! "Lord I was waiting for you to rescue me, and you didn't show." The Lord's answer? "I sent you a boat, a raft, and a helicopter. What else did you want?"
Moral: Help will come, but the ultimate act of rescue must come from you. Only you can take action and do the things that will ensure your well-being and happiness.
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About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com