Pick up the Reins


I spent a lot of years trapped in bad relationships. Well, let me revise that … I spent a lot of years choosing to stay in bad relationships. You see, there was a point in my life where I was convinced that I had fallen into the inevitable trap that had been laid out for me. A trap of circumstances that were out of my control. I thought…

My dad was a drinker, and they say you marry your father. So I guess that’s my bed to lie in.”

“When am I going to catch a break?”

“Why does this keep happening to me?”

There was a profound shift in my life the day I asked myself a different question… “Why do I keep choosing this?”

The first time those words ran through my mind I felt this incredibly powerful and strange sense of relief mixed with a terrifying need to throw up. Could I actually have been choosing all of this? Was it a choice and not at all random that I found myself in the middle of so much drama all the time? 

My first thought was of devastation. Oh, the wasted time! But then I thought… “If it’s a choice… I can choose differently.” 

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn says, “The same wind blows on us all. It’s the set of our sail that dictates the direction we go.”

This concept changed my whole life. It wasn’t that life was harassing me and trying to set me back at every step. That happens to all of us. Where I had failed was in simply changing the set of my sail in the face of life’s wind gusts. 

That was the moment I realized that change is up to me. I am not a victim. 

From that day forward, I made small, subtle CHOICES that moved me from a sense of helplessness into a place of self-leadership. I decided to own my journey. After all, it had taught me everything I knew about what I didn’t want in my life. I decided to step out of the blame game. I was exactly as happy or as unhappy as I chose to be. It wasn’t anyone else’s responsibility to make my life better. That weight fell directly on my shoulders. And you know what? I wouldn’t want anyone else to carry it for me anyway! For goodness sakes! 

I was having a heck of a time finding any kind of joy when I kept placing my value, my worth, and my mood in other people’s incapable hands

It was never their job to make me happy. It was always my own. 

This is a freedom I can’t describe. Imagine riding a runaway horse, clinging to the horn, trying desperately to hold on. Now imagine realizing that the reins were there the whole time… you just need to pick them up.

Pick up the reins. You are not a victim. 

Written by: Wendy Cunningham

Sunny Cain