If you’ve met me, we’ve probably talked about this mind-blowing concept at least once.
This is one of the most irritating suggestions I’ve received on my healing journey, so of course it’s also been one of the most transformative practices that’s worked it’s way through my life over time.
I was driving from my old apartment in West Philly near where I’d been mugged at gunpoint, experienced a recent breakup, and given up joint custody of a puppy I loved. The next chapter of life was beckoning to me from a high-ceilinged bright apartment in the Art Museum area. I had the keys in my pocket. First month’s rent, last month’s rent, and an additional security deposit were paid. I was feeling positive and excited but also overwhelmed with change and vibrating with fear.
I called a trusted advisor with a long list of my seeming problems that day. “I have to get in touch with the landlord, the water isn’t working. I have to get cleaning supplies, the floors are still filthy, can you believe they didn’t clean the place better? I have to call the insurance people back. I have to blah, blah, blah.”
Calmly she said, “You don’t have to do anything. You get to do these things.”
When I adjust my thoughts and spoken words from, “I have to do this,” to, “I get to do this,” everything changes. In this practice I can remember that I have juridisciton over my actions. I get to participate in life instead of reacting to life. Nothing is happening to me, everything is happening for me. I get to say, “Yes,” and, “No,” to invitations of all kinds.
I have to go to work.
I have to go grocery shopping.
I have to be honest about this situation that’s bothering me.
I have to pay my mortgage.
I have to take my dog for a walk.
I get to go to work.
I get to go grocery shopping.
I get to be honest about this situation that’s bothering me.
I get to pay my mortgage.
I get to take my dog for a walk.
I know this mind shift can feel annoying and confusing, but it also can feel unbelievably expansive and relieving. You don’t have to do anything. Instead, you get to do whatever it is you’re choosing right now. When you make this change, gratitude and intention will flood your life. Statement by statement, practice by practice, watch the quality of your life change when your “Have to do its” become “Get to do its.”