It has been long taught to children that ‘fairness’ is a guiding principle of life.
It seems to be in the social consciousness and fabric of our society to teach children to ‘be fair’. We place concerted effort in messaging this –
“Be fair and share with your friend”
“Take turns, it’s only fair”
We learn that fairness is an important consideration in life and begin to include it into our choice making processes – we carry this belief system into adulthood.
The problem lies here: fairness does not exist.
The thought that it does exist and that you are deserving of it causes pain and suffering. It creates scenarios and stories in your head that tell you ‘life has done me an injustice’. It gives you permission for self loathing.
I mean, after all, it was important that I shared my gummies with Sally on the school playground. Why isn’t the world sharing its proverbial ‘gummies’ with me now?
It was a long road into adulthood before I really GOT that fairness is just an illusion – what a gift it was to open my eyes! It gave me freedom to change my perspective (change my thoughts) and allow me to throw those heavy, un-serving beliefs to the wayside.
‘Fairness’ had me trapped in a self-deprecating cycle.
- Why do I struggle with eczema? I work so hard to heal. Others my age have beautiful skin.
- It’s not fair that I’m judged when I date older men – my brothers are not judged by the age of their partners.
- Why did I have a miscarriage? Other women don’t have to go through that.
- It’s not fair that I have to work so hard for my money. Many people work less and get paid more.
These thoughts were painful and they existed only because I felt that each was ‘unfair’ and that I was deserving of equality.
Will it help a child born without the use of their legs to consider how unfair their circumstances are?
Life does not share money, safety, health or anything else amongst us evenly.
Removing the thought that it should takes away the pain and lets us step out of comparison. Reality is a beautiful lake to swim in.
Our thoughts are the most powerful tools we have. Question, change, expand, shake-up those thoughts and you will change your life.
The best way I know how to do that is with the support and partnership of a coach, which is a service I offer. You can also get started at home – a woman named Byron Katie offers a remarkable worksheet which she calls The Work.
When we stand radically in reality, some problems simply disappear while others become more manageable and actionable. Let’s take a look at the outcome of my examples above:
- I have been symptom-free of eczema for years and even had a clinical practice to help other people heal theirs.
- I realized that the only important judgment of whom I date, is MY judgment.
- My miscarriage allowed me a small window into the beautiful experience of motherhood and inspired me to help other women maneuvering through early pregnancy loss.
- I learned to stay in my own business – other people’s money is none of my concern. My job is to focus on my money, nobody else’s.
As you can see, my original thoughts have been dramatically turned around. Instead of being a burden to drag me down, I accepted them and transformed my learning into growth opportunities.
I think Rumi nicely summarized the idea of letting go of destructive thoughts when he wrote:
“You knock at the door of reality,
shake your thought-wings, loosen
Why not start by re-writing your beliefs about fairness?