Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Passive Voice

This is *far* from the first time I've talked about how much I appreciate ChronicBabe.com (and Jenni, the fabulous ChronicBabe who runs it). I got my weekly newsletter today and it just got me RIGHT HERE and summed up exactly what I've been trying to figure out how to say about this latest complication in my life - and how I'm trying to deal with it. I got Jenni's permission to share the whole thing here, in hopes that I'm not the only one out there who will find encouragement in her words.


“You can’t live your whole life in passive voice,” my pal Amanda said recently. We were talking about how complicated life gets and how easy it can be to blame outside forces for all the negativity we experience. There are some people who walk through this life feeling like victims, getting overwhelmed and frustrated by bad circumstances - and letting those situations get the best of them.

Those people are living in passive voice. They focus on what happened to them, what someone else did, what they were told to do. When you’re sick, and tired, it’s easy to fall into that rhythm; once you’re there, it’s hard to get out of it. And then you become a victim, someone to whom life just happens.

Now please don’t misunderstand. I’m not trying to say we aren’t allowed to get pissed off or depressed about things that happen. Of course we are! But when that’s ALL we can see, when we can’t ALSO see what WE can do about our situation, then we’re in trouble.

But you’re here, reading this and working on being a ChronicBabe - and that means you’re not living in passive voice. You’re not just letting life happen to you. You’re a fighter! A rock star! A creative thinker who’s looking for solutions! You’re fabulous! You’re a ChronicBabe!

I get really excited about this subject because it holds so much power. When we develop the ability to step back a little, to see the bigger picture of our situation, we not only see what has happened to us; we begin to see what we can do to make our lives better. We see the people surrounding us, who can help us in many ways. We see that we’re able to change, adapt, and grow emotionally. That we can get stronger. That we can take charge of the direction of our life.

Yes, you are sick. Yes, that sucks. Yes, there are other frustrating forces in your life. I can relate. There are some days when it feels like too much, and I want to blame someone else for my situation. I want to blame someone (or something) else for making me late to a meeting, or for eating candy when I should be eating an apple, or for not landing the freelance writing gig I badly wanted. But if I sit back and blame something else, I become a victim, and then I’m living in passive voice - I’m just letting life roll over me, not taking responsibility for what I can do. What I CAN do is set a second alarm clock so I’m not late, I can buy fruit at the nearby farmer’s market so I have healthy snacks in the house, and I can work harder to create presentations that impress clients with my awesomeness. I don’t have total control over my situation, but I can do SOMETHING.

This is a big piece of the ChronicBabe puzzle, Babes. Do not live in the passive voice. Do not take the easy route and play victim to your circumstances. When you can, stand back and observe. Find your options, and take charge of the things you can change or improve. It’s not usually the easy way, but trust me: You’ll feel better for taking responsibility, and for being an active participant in your life. I promise to keep practicing what I preach! (And I know my pals will call me on my B.S. if I don’t.)


Need some ChronicBabe wisdom in your life? You can sign up to receive Jenni's weekly newsletters in your own inbox http://www.chronicbabe.com/media/newsletters (and I highly recommend it).

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At July 07, 2010 3:48 PM, Anonymous Marilyn said...

Neat...even we who are not chronic babes can practise this good attitude:)


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