Own Your Life

Just like Sirius told Harry in Harry Potter, "We've all got both light and dark inside us.  What matters is the part we choose to act on."  So why is it we often let the dark inside us sabotage the light?  Gary Zukav describes this as our splintered personality.

Years ago, the organization where I worked asked all staff members to participate in a survey to identify our strengths.  There were about 80 employees that participated, and of those 80 people it was well understood that Nellie (a made-up name) was the most negative of us all.  If we were all offered ice cream she would begin complaining about how messy it is.  If we were given the day off she would start talking about how much work we'll now have to make up.  I'm sure if she would've won the lottery she'd complain about the taxes taken out, rather than the riches coming her way.  When Nellie began to talk there was always a gloomy thought to follow, and all of her coworkers knew to just shrug her comments off, or even laugh at its absurdity.  My point?  It was common knowledge that Nellie was negative.

So we were all floored when Nellie's number one strength was positivity.  What??  I think everyone's jaw dropped to the floor.  There were stares around the room.  Everyone was questioning whether they heard this correctly or not.  Positive Nellie?  That doesn't even sound right.

I no longer work with Nellie, but I continue to think about this mystery years later.  I've finally come to the conclusion that the survey pulled out positivity as her strength because this is how Nellie saw herself.  This was the light in her.  But for some reason she would sabotage this light with her dark -- the negativity.  And what's even more intriguing is she didn't even realize it.  I didn't mention it earlier, but Nellie proudly announced to the 80 staff members in the training room, "My number one strength is positivity!"  Silence and confusion flowed through the room, except from Nellie.  She continued to stand there looking pleased with a big smile across her face.

I'm not sure what Nellie is up to now, however, I do know that the years that I worked with her she didn't have a good grasp of herself.  Sirius is correct.  We all have light and dark inside of us, but if we don't recognize our own light and dark then we also don't have the capacity to act on the good.  Instead, our mind tricks us.  We begin to think we are what we are not.  Our mind tells us we are something that the rest of the world doesn't see.  And before you know it, your dark side begins to sabotage the good in you.

To get what you want out of life -- find your light and dark.  Know your strengths and weaknesses.  Then own it, and make intentional actions to sustain and build up your light, and crush your dark.  If you don't recognize your splintered personality you won't own it, it will own you.  And you will always feel that life owns you too.  Own yourself.  Own your light.  Own your life.

mindfulnessAmber Dembowski