Today I want to write about blame and why it’s a problem. As a culture, we are constantly looking for someone to blame our troubles on. It was our parents’ fault. It was that one rotten teacher I had in third grade. It was the rotten husband. Or the lousy boss. Or the dog. The list of people or things to blame is endless.
I like this quote by Teddy Roosevelt because it reminds us where true responsibility lies…squarely with us. This used to really bother me. I used to think this principle implied I had brought into my life some of the hardships I experienced in my first marriage and that it was my fault he made many of the choices he made. That seemed totally unfair, but that’s really what I thought this concept meant. To me, this is what it really means: Sometimes circumstances happen in our life that are just part of being alive. Our spouses can lie. Our kids can make choices we don’t love. We can lose our job. Someone we love can even die. While we are not responsible for these things, we are 100% responsible for how we respond to them. It may sound cliche’, but we can become better or we can become bitter.
How many people do you know who feel life dealt them a bad hand and are pretty miserable? While they may not have chosen some of the events that have happened in their lives, they may be behaving in a way in response to these things that drives others away from them. They may act angry and bitter which could prevent them from intimate relationships. They may be difficult employees because they believe someone owes them something. And they can continue in the lie that’s it’s all someone else’s fault.
The closer we can really look at ALL our actions and what they are creating for us, the more we can go back and see what thoughts are driving all of it. Someone who is grateful despite hardships shows up in the world in a much different way than someone who is bitter. When we peel back the layers into our own behavior and truly decide to own all of it, true freedom is found. We no longer have to be at the mercy of anyone else’s actions. We get to own our own. And the magical thing is that once we really own all of, showing up in the world exactly how we want to out of a choice to be our best selves, our circumstances often change.
Where are you holding yourself back by blaming others? Can you crack the door open just a peep and look to see where you are contributing to your own struggles? That is where you will find your freedom. Once you see it, you can decide to change it. You get to decide exactly who you want to be, regardless of anyone or anything else. So amazing! So stop kicking yourself in the behind, and use those same feet to move yourself out of blame and into freedom!