What is radical ownership? It’s seeing and owning that life is a mirror reflecting me back to me. All the things that happen in my life have one thing in common…ME. I am the common denominator in all that keeps showing up. Mike Dooley describes it beautifully in his Notes from The Universe: “It's one kind of victory to slay a beast, move a mountain, and cross a chasm, but it's another kind altogether to realize that the beast, the mountain, and the chasm were of your own design.”

I have a treasured handwritten letter from Jane Roberts (author of the Seth books) in which she reminds me of this: “You are the boss of your reality.” Sometimes I feel like life is bossing me around, but when I land in radical ownership, I see that I AM the boss, hiring characters who fit my persona requirements: my wounded one requires someone to wound me, my not good enough one requires someone to regard me as not good enough, my unimportant one requires being treated as unimportant.

For years I longed for a loving relationship, but my expectation for being wronged magnetized being wronged. I would pick people who would fulfill that belief, and if they didn’t, I would project or provoke it. I see this in some of my friends who are longing for a partner. Sadly, I know that even if they found someone, their unowned, unexplored, unhealed wound (what Eckhart Tolle calls the ‘pain body’) would mastermind, orchestrate, and fulfill its requirement for pain.

Our pain body, once triggered, is extremely compelling! We become engulfed in a powerful trance that can only see from that limited perspective. That’s why radical ownership is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage and determination to break free of the hardwired, addictive hold of our pain body - like a heroin addict kicking heroin.

The good news is, once we claim radical ownership by seeing that we are sourcing our misery, it brings about radical transformation and a radically fabulous new life! That’s what happened to me. And if it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone. (I was heavily addicted to my victimhood for a good part of my life.)

I have not mastered radical ownership by any means - I’m still challenged to resist the seductive lure of my pain body. Very recently I was put to the test when someone close to me stunned me by revealing a long-held hurtful secret. My hurt feelings were a natural response, and I expressed them. Yet I could feel the powerful pull of my pain body wanting to set up camp in the hurt. It had tasted the pain of being wronged, and like a shark tasting blood, it wanted to feast on it!

But fortunately I’ve developed a strong witness who watched this happening and said to myself, “No, nuh-uh, not gonna happen, not going there, not feeding that one.” Instead I made the healthy choice to go for a ‘clear my head’ walk to Whole Foods, choosing salad instead of the sweets my pain body wanted. Then I sat outside at a table overlooking the eucalyptus trees, where I ate my salad and ‘realed’ myself in by journaling this healthy word feast: Resentment wants to resent. Bitterness wants to be bitter. Pain bodies want their pain. I refuse to give in to my pain body. I refuse to take it personally. Other people’s ego strategies are not personal against me. I’m responsible for how I choose to perceive and react to them.

And then something wonderful happened…I was filled with self-respect! I had triumphed over my pain body! My Big Soul Self had prevailed! I thought to myself, “I LOVE the soul that I am!” The rest of my walk was a celebration of that. Being free of the powerful lure of my pain body was my Independence Day celebration. (It’s very cool that the next day was July 4th!). Once I had shifted into this perspective, the trance was broken and the situation looked totally different to me, it wasn’t such a big deal, and I was free of pain.

I know I will be challenged again and slip into unconscious patterns, but I trust that I am committed to radical ownership and will always regain consciousness. Our lives are malleable like clay, shaped by our worst fears and our greatest expectations. I choose to live in a world formed by my greatest expectations.

How about you? Is there something in your life that’s ready to be owned? Here’s a good reminder to you (and me): the more you own it, the more you become free of it. Wishing for you and for me the freedom and fabulosity that comes with radical ownership!

Author's Bio: 

Janet Jacobsen is the author of the book Oh No, Not Another ‘Growth’ Opportunity! An Inspirational Cancer Journey With Humor, Heart, and Healing. To read more of Janet’s FREE, uplifting, entertaining, and informative essays, as well as the first 4 chapters of her book, go to http://enlightenink.com/.