Published:
October 18, 2022
Last Updated:
October 20, 2022

Take Responsibility for Your Life and How You Love, with IIN Faculty Member Mark Groves

Human connection specialist Mark Groves said, “taking responsibility for our own lives is the single greatest transformation we can all make.” What you do with the things that happen in your life is 100% your responsibility. Rather than reacting to situations in your life, you can see how they can shape your life and create the life you want.

This level of responsibility requires that we own who we’ve been – accept the truth about ourselves – and choose to become someone we admire.

1. Your personal story talks about taking radical responsibility for “me, myself, and I.” What did that look like at first? How can someone start this process without getting discouraged?

It began by taking responsibility for the results I was creating in my life and for who I was truly being. I’m not going to lie; that was hard. It required me to sit with the uncomfortable truths that I’d spent my time running from. It demanded that I sit through the discomfort of recognizing who I was and what I was choosing.

We must push through the discomfort to become someone we’ve never been. We have to be willing to accept who we currently are to be able to change and grow. So you might get discouraged. You might feel shame. But the greater question is: Would you prefer to be discouraged by accepting who you’ve been or disappointed continuously by what you continue to allow from yourself and in your life?

2. We love the saying “Turn your mess into your message.” How can others do this for themselves? How can we accept the truth about ourselves, and choose to be someone we admire?

We do this by deciding to no longer live from the center of our wounds. Most of us are caught up in our pain. We’re reacting to our hurt. We’re protecting ourselves and thereby not allowing ourselves to truly live. To feel. To fall. To rise. There needs to be a turning point where we decide that what we’re most ashamed of or where we hold our greatest pains is actually where we hold our greatest wisdom. When life is created from this place, this place of rooted knowing, we can help lead others through the same mess. This is what it means to live in our purpose and to hold our wounds as gifts. This is not to dismiss or negate our pains but rather to give them purpose.

3. What role does communication play in our relationships with ourselves and with others?

Communication is everything. If we can’t tell ourselves the truth about who we are, what we want, and how we feel, then how can we communicate with others or, even more so, trust that they’re being honest, too?

To be honest with ourselves and others, we must disconnect the outcome of our honesty from how we feel about ourselves… rather, in the act of being honest, we’re living in alignment with our values. We’re taking action to create the relationship we desire. We’re the living embodiment of courageous communication that honors truth. Which means that we honor love.

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4. Thoughts on perfectionism? So often, we’re harder on ourselves than we have to be, which makes it even harder to let someone in. How can we work on this?

Perfectionism is an adaptive strategy to get love. We’re living from our wounds when we’re in pursuit of perfection. Have you ever noticed, as a perfectionist, that it will never be enough? That perfectionism is a lie. We’re hard on ourselves because someone else was hard on us and we’ve modeled that behavior in our inner cosmos.

Knowing where it comes from helps. Mourning our experience as a child is useful. Letting ourselves off the hook of “perfect” is scary. We’re not sure we’ll still be “enough” when we stop over-functioning. And it’s actually when sitting in the disappointment that we meet the grief and sadness of a child who didn’t feel like they were loved just as they were.

Imagine if you met that child… you would want them to know that love for them is not connected to anything! It just is.

This is the love we must learn to give to ourselves. Be not enough. Be imperfect. Imperfection is actually how people relate to one another.

5. How do you stay true to yourself while in a relationship?

Most of us don’t know how to hold on to ourselves and be in love. We either abandon ourselves for the connection or run from relationships to preserve ourselves. The way out? Learn the edges of where you lose yourself. Learn how to create boundaries, how to express your needs, how to honor those needs, and how to honor your partner’s. When we value our sovereignty, we’ll value our partners. Build a relationship that is about honoring the self and the “us.” They’re separate entities, and both must be nourished with deep intention.

6. How do I get the love I crave? The love I deserve?

You are worthy. Full stop. And you create the relationship that you seek. You are 100% responsible for your 50% of the relationship. It’s through this level of not just responsibility but also possibility that you create the type of love and life you’ve always wanted. Ask yourself, “What kind of person gets that kind of relationship? What are their habits? What are their agreements? What are their rituals?” And then do the same. The outcomes of your life will reflect the choices 0p;.you make. Be committed, with the deepest level of integrity, to creating this.-

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The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) was founded 30 years ago and has evolved to become the world’s largest and leading online health coaching and nutrition school.

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