Life is full of games. Some of the games we play are fun and entertaining. They make us laugh. They are enjoyable. They bring us closer together and create long-lasting bonds and friendships that yield deeper connections.
There are some games that people play, however, which are destructive and dangerous. They are the games that include manipulation, controlling behaviors, guilt, stress, chaos, drama, and uncomfortable feelings and situations, all driven by nefarious agendas. It is important that we recognize these games for what they are as quickly as we can, and decide before they are even introduced to us what role we will choose to play in these games, if any role at all. It is wise to learn about boundaries which will protect us and the ones we love in this life and put these boundaries into place immediately, every chance we get, and with every person we are introduced to. It is entirely up to us to protect ourselves and the people we love.
Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is PAIN.
A GREAT book about boundaries is, THE LANGUAGE OF LETTING GO, by Melody Beattie. It has a daily paragraph to read, and over time, and with consistent repetition, can be one of the most useful tools available. I have profited greatly through years of reading these daily messages.
Sometimes, the people playing these games don’t even realize they are doing it. It was what they were taught when they were younger, or a survival behavior, and this way of behaving is all they have known, and has become a habit. Many times, these people have habituated destructive behaviors that kept them safe when they were younger, and have the fear that if they stop these destructive behaviors they might get hurt again. Sometimes, people are hurting, and they simply want to hurt others. They believe that if they can’t be happy, nobody else should be, either. Yet others have malicious intent. They know exactly what they are doing. They control the emotions of others, not yet having learned how to focus on and control their own emotions, and use games as a manipulation tactic, and control others to get what they want, through games and a lack of transparency. This makes them feel powerful and in control.
It is entirely up to us to protect ourselves and the people we love. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is PAIN.
Again I must mention it. The most helpful information I have come across, so far, pertaining to healthy boundaries, is Melody Beattie’s book, THE LANGUAGE OF LETTING GO. It has a short paragraph for each day of the year, meant to be read as part of a daily routine, to help the reader consistently refocus on the setting, and keeping, of healthy, effective, useful, empowering boundaries. I began reading from this book in 2014. It has empowered me with the tools I have needed all along, to completely alter the trajectory and course of my life for the better.
There are meanings behind every word out of our mouths, and the mouths of others. Sometimes the same words have completely different meanings, depending upon the experiences of life each of us have been through. The truth of one may not necessarily be the truth of another, because of this difference in experiences and intentions.
The words we use and hear are usually dependant upon the outward projection of our inner world, beliefs, perceptions, and habitual thoughts. Some people are great at faking it, pretending, and acting out a reality in the outer world that doesn’t mirror, or correctly and accurately portray, their inner world. We all do this to a certain degree, usually thinking or believing this will protect us and the ones we love. When we choose not to live in alignment with what and who we are, it causes dis-ease within us. This is when trust gets broken. Confidence wanes. Enjoyment and contentment slowly dissipate.
Some people have hidden agendas. They have a desire to get something from us, and use trickery and games to get it. It is useful to practice recognizing these things for what they are, and learn from the opportunity of the lessons created for us by exposure to these experiences. There is value that comes from others testing our boundaries, and through testing the boundaries of others.
We can choose to be thankful for these people that play games and try to manipulate and control us, for they remind us of the important things. Being tested is beneficial. The more we are around people with hidden agendas, the better we will get at recognizing the games, and deciding if it is something we want to be a part of or not. We don’t have to participate or play in any games if we don’t want to. It is incredibly easy to simply walk away and not play.
I respect those who are transparent, open in their communication, and honest. I know where I stand with these people. They choose to be vulnerable, having learned about the great amount of strength that comes with vulnerability, openness, and radical honesty. When there is a problem, they choose to shine a spotlight on it, and ask for help in coming up with solutions to the problem, rather than hiding the problem, and caring more about how they look or seem to others, or how they may be perceived. I believe it is more important to BE something, than it is to APPEAR TO BE something, whatever that something is, be it good, smart, capable, strong, intelligent, spiritual, or happy.
Consistency creates confidence. Practicing these habits of transparency, openness, and honesty isn’t always easy, at first, but they make daily life more enjoyable, fulfilling, and effectively efficient. Time is the one thing we can’t get more of. We must spend it wisely.
We can choose to be aware of the games at work, home, and in life, where there are power plays, and those who wish to control us. Some people get their feelings of importance when they are able to elicit ANY response from us. Sometimes these people will stir the pot with a question or a statement they already know will get us fired up, frustrated, or focused on something that will make us progressively more angry as the day goes on. They feel like they are able to control our emotions, and in fact, we are choosing to allow them to have that power when this happens. Some people are unable to control their own emotions, and receive a sense of control through controlling the emotions of others.
How quickly are we able to take deep breaths, re-focus on what we want to be focusing on, and get back to our emotional baseline? This is a skill we can learn more about and practice, becoming better and better at. Would this skill benefit you? I know it has been beneficial for me.
The more I practice not letting others alter or change my focus, while trying to be in control of my thoughts and emotions, the easier it becomes and the more beneficial it is. When we don’t react, or over-react, to people trying to play games with us or control us in some way, consistently, we send a message, loud and clear, that we don’t play those games, and we will not be controlled. Nothing is more frustrating to a person who wants to control us in some way than when they find out that they just can’t. We are too smart for that. We are too strong for that. In essence, we win the game they play without even playing. Try it out! Practice it. As we become more and more consistent about what we intentionally allow into our minds, hearts, and lives, we frustrate the plans of those who would control us, and attract a different type of crowd, or tribe, into our lives. Our vibe attracts our tribe.
We tend to get more of what we choose to accept and tolerate. The magic of this is that we make our own rules. We are in control of ourselves and what we think about and focus on. We are on control of what we choose to react and respond to and how, if, or when, we choose to react. We are in control of the definitions and meanings we assign to EVERYTHING. As we practice, and become great at these things, and focus on controlling only that which we can control, everything else in our lives tends to magically fall into place where it belongs, or it falls out of our lives completely. What we focus on, WE FEED. What we ignore, WE STARVE.
When we practice self-love, self-appreciation, and self-acceptance, in such a way that we no longer have the need for love, appreciation, or acceptance from OTHERS, we win at the Game of Life MUCH more often. When we fill the void we perceive to be within us OURSELVES, we no longer have the need to seek without for ANYTHING to fill the void we perceive to exist within us. The truth is, THERE IS NO VOID-only the belief of something missing that has been programmed into us from a young age that are meant to manipulate us into feeling incomplete, or less than. Once we feel this way, and believe we can fill a void with a product, we are easily manipulated into becoming a consumer, and will part with ANY amount of money, just for temporary relief from the pain of this belief.
When we learn we can create our OWN rules and our OWN life, along with the outcomes and results WE desire, we are no longer so easily manipulated and controlled by OTHERS. This all started with an awakening (usually produced through painful experiences,) heightened self-awareness, and a progressive practice which consists improves our personal skills in the areas of self-love, self-appreciation, and self-acceptance, lasting the entire rest of our lives.
Today I will be mindful of the games being played in my life and in the lives of others. I will decide which games I want to play and which games I don’t want to play, or if I want to play at all. I will practice being consistent.
I will buy THE LANGUAGE OF LETTING GO, by Melody Beattie, and read the daily passage, so I can up-level my enjoyment in life through a gradual, consistent awakening, awareness, and improvement in boundary implementation that will protect me and others from the games people play.
Melody Beattie’s story is AMAZING. All she went through taught her what she would need to know to help and empower SO MANY of us. I invite you to listen to some of her story here:
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Remember: Mindset matters. Character counts. That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives. WE CREATE our realities.