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Taking Responsibility In The Time Of Uncertainty

How a meditation session led to me taking responsibility for my current life situation

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

My body touched the floor in my bedroom. I lied down and closed my eyes. The last couple of weeks have been particularly stressful. I’m at the risk of losing my current job due to structural changes. I’ve faced some hurdles in my first romantic relationship. I’ve been rushing around trying to tick off a task after a task after a task. The one thing I forgot to do? Breathe.

My first meditation attempt in months has been quite interesting. I’ve been avoiding meditation for a while because, first of all, in my mind, I had neither the time nor the mood for it in the past several weeks. Secondly, someone on the internet (whom I trust, though) said that people should be able to handle their problems without meditation. So I tried to go on and on and on. My life though? Wasn’t improving.

To put it visually, my flat has been a little bit of a mess – especially considering the fact I’ve been cleaning it vigorously for a couple of months prior to this, ever since I moved in. And right now, there’s dry rice in different places I haven’t bothered to clean. Why rice? Well, I’ll come to it later. Among other curious objects around my flat are scattered clothes and food packaging. I haven’t done my laundry for a week and a half now. All of these – while perhaps don’t seem too bad – are perfect signs that not everything’s ok in my life.

The last straw was what happened to me this past weekend. I decided to take an underwater picture for my boyfriend (don’t ask), and my iPhone 7 – though meant to be waterproof – had given in and collapsed, kind of. It acted up at first, specifically its home button. Following my boyfriend’s guidance (over a Messenger call on my laptop), I bought dry rice, put the phone in there, and left it untouched on a hot radiator.

No matter when I tried to check up on my phone, it showed worrying signs. Maybe at some points, it seemed to be getting better but, overall, it still caused concern. It’s never a good time to break a phone but this really wasn’t a good time. Financially, I have just used my last money to book a holiday to Turkey (which I don’t even know for sure will be happening, COVID and all). I also DO want my phone for Turkey (mostly to post cute Instagram pictures).

I can honestly say that I’ve used up almost all my financial resources at this point. As I mentioned earlier, I may not have my current job soon. So my only choice is to use the bank credit given to me and hope that I get a new job that will cover my expenses. And all of this stress right now I’m handling phoneless, of course, just to make things more fun.  

But perhaps all of this would not be as bad if it wasn’t for my attitude to it. I was in a state of anger and I even, in my thoughts, blamed my boyfriend for it. You know, because, after all, I was taking the photo for him (though he didn’t even ask, bless him). So he should help me get a new phone or something – I don’t even know what I wanted.

The phone situation doesn’t even end here. The service company I trusted my phone to wrote to me on a messenger saying that the phone unexpectedly stopped switching on, after they opened it up and put it back together – something that was meant to fix it, not break it. They then questioned whether it was a new phone (i.e. not refurbished). Of course, it was new – I was livid they even asked.

During meditation, I immediately realised something. It wasn’t my boyfriend’s fault or the company’s fault. I bear the sole responsibility for all the decisions in my life. Nobody owes me to fix my phone or get me a new one. It was my decision to put it under water and I stand 100% behind it. I cannot blame other people for my actions and I cannot act in accordance to other people’s minds. 

As a life coach, I preach all of the above messages to other people all the time. But I shamefully forgot I’m meant to be using them, too.

I breathed in and out and enjoyed this newfound responsibility for the recent events in my life. It’s my phone and I may have broken it. It’s my life and I manage its course or, at least, the attitude I have towards its course.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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