I Am the Captain of My Soul

“Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole.
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.”

From Invictus by William Ernest Henley

I had to memorize the poem, “Invictus,” in my 8th grade English class and it remains my all-time favorite.

My blogging colleague, Alex Blackwell, of The BridgeMaker, reminded me of the words to “Invictus” after he wrote a well-received post recently called, “Don’t Rent Your Life, Own It.” (find his post here:  http://www.thebridgemaker.com/dont-rent-your-life-own-it/)

My take-away from Alex’s post

We too often simply show up for our lives with little thought given to how we are responsible for each decision, every attitude and ultimately, how we live each day.  He described how he used to give away so much of his power and I thought, YES!  Me too.

Alex’s  words really resonated with me (so much so that I wrote to him and asked if I could write a guest post for his readers) because he writes about savoring every moment and finding joy in the simple and mundane.

I decided to take a stab at his invitation to write a Life Ownership Contract.

I invite you to do the same.

What I know–and what I believe for you

When I take 100% responsibility for every aspect of my life–I find freedom.  I no longer blame others for the perceived wrongs done to me.  I quit judging others’ actions because I see what they do as the choices they get to make.  If I have a run of what could be seen as crappy circumstances, I sit back and ask myself whether a belief, thought or feeling I’m holding is attracting the current situation and if not, what can I learn and then pass on to someone else?

Life doesn’t happen to me unless I allow it.  Period.  End of story.

The caveat is I too often allow myself to forget that life doesn’t happen to me.  That’s why Alex’s idea of a Life Ownership Contract is so brilliant.

Are you willing to write a contract and share it?  There really are no parameters; I chose 12 agreements because I love the number 12 and already live by 12 Steps.  Yours can be as simple or as detailed as you’d like.

My Life Ownership Contract

1.  I agree to remember the Trinity:  God, myself, others.
2.  I agree to respond rather than react.
3.  I agree to allow transparency when it is appropriate.
4.  I agree to treat people and animals with respect and dignity.
5.  I agree to honor my entire self–from the inside out.
6.  I agree to not take myself too seriously and to laugh often.
7.  I agree to walk lightly and appreciate my steps.
8.  I agree to be present to the people, places and circumstances before me.
9.  I agree to always believe in miracles and to know that size doesn’t matter.
10.  I agree to put love ahead of everything else.
11.  I agree to say what I mean and mean what I say and to use words judiciously.
12.  I agree to remember that others’ thoughts, attitudes and opinions are none of my business and to remember to accept responsibility for my own.

 

 

 

Photo credit:  Scott Liddell at http://www.scottliddell.com

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Beth,
    Excellent. Love the idea of a Life Ownership Contract as a way to express your values. We often go through life with a little bit of a cloud in this area, and it helps to sit down, think it through and write it out. Great idea.

  2. Beth Wilson says:

    Wish I could take credit for the idea, Cathy. But it goes to Alex of The BridgeMaker. I must admit that my contract has already come into question today! Guess I’m going to have to post it in several strategic places for viewing.

    B Well,
    Beth

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