The Benefit of Consequences

January 18, 2021

The Benefit of Consequences

Hello my friends,

I want to share something that’s been on my heart for a long, long while, and a theme, that I believe, has popped up in our collective consciousness.

I’ve shared at length here and on social media that 2020 was not an easy one for me, personally. Through my own actions and blind spots of self-awareness, I created some messes and weaved some tricky webs that felt extremely difficult to untangle. I struggled in two facets. First, the disappointment and let-down I felt within myself. This vane required a lot of inner-work and self-forgiveness and I’ve progressed really well in that department. The second, though, was the sitting in, and enduring through, the consequences of my actions. The accountability for it. The domino effect that took place from the things that I said and did. All of the things that popped up because of my own doing.

When we face the consequences of our actions, a mirror is placed before us and we are forced to actually take a look at ourselves, admit a pain or a wrongdoing, and do the work to actually do better. Sometimes consequences take time, others require specific action, but all of it is hard and uncomfortable, and cannot be rushed through or brushed aside.

Many times, in my personal experiences, I have wished that the consequence didn’t exist. That it could go away. That I could just make it right, right now in a way of my own choosing. And now, I fully realize that it cannot work that way, and it’s a good thing. Because I’ve learned this: when we actually confront and embrace an aligned consequence for a misstep, we exponentially grow. We are changed, for the better. We are honoring every aspect of ourselves, even the parts that we might not be so proud of.

This embrace of responsibility immediately alchemizes a situation: from a forced hardship to a welcome opportunity for growth.

In thinking about the consequences that I have faced in my life, I, too, think about how to hold firm on the consequences that should be set with the people in my life. In particular, what it means to let people off the hook when perhaps they don’t deserve it. To avoid the hard conversations and pretend that everything is fine. This has been a struggle for me, too. I have given people passes for bad behavior, often. And the thing about this is, when you don’t provide a consequence or set a boundary, you deny that person of their own growth and learning, and, of course, you enable that misaligned and harmful behavior.

Although the words consequence and accountability tend to trail with negative connotations, I believe that they provide great hidden gifts in our lives. There is great benefit with aligned consequence: we are given opportunity to become the people who we are meant to be, through the process of acceptance and great learning.

xo, Michelle



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