I cannot hold someone in my present responsible for the actions of someone in my past. I need to take each person, each day and each situation on its own merits
and deal with them accordingly. I need to release the knee-jerk reaction
and take life as it comes.
Personal Responsibility: Owning everything single thing about your life, your actions or inaction, your choices, beliefs and history. Stepping up to the plate of life and saying loudly; "I take full responsibility!" Then, actually following through. It is taking control of everything you touch, do, say or feel and honoring it. It is owning your mistakes, wrong choices, bad decisions and either making them right or doing better going forward.
It is the moment when you stop blaming and start accepting.
It is in the moment when you let the excuse die upon your lips.
It is in the moment when you stop lying and start telling the truth.
It is in the moment you look deep within and realize - it is you who needs to change.
It is in all of these moments when your life becomes your own.
There was a woman with whom I was very close and for years I watched as she placed the blame for everything wrong in her life firmly on the shoulders of those around her. Never once taking personal responsibility for any facet of her life. She would blame her children for robbing her of her youth, her husband for her unhappiness and various friends for never being there for her. She saw herself as taken advantage of and always felt let down by those she loved. She was a lost soul for so many different reasons - none of which being the people in her life.
She would blame the past for her present. She would blame her father, her mother, her sister and so on, for all that was wrong. She would cry and lament about the injustice of it all. Then, she would place the task of making her feel better onto her children. Expecting them to heal all which was broken and make life better going forward for her. She would place the responsibility for her happiness on their shoulders and then blame them for her tears. She failed to realize it was she who needed to take full responsibility for her life and happiness; not her husband, children or friends.
She never took personal responsibility for her life and she eventually broke because of it. Until the day she died, she blamed everyone else for her decisions, her unhappiness and the life she never felt she had. She found scapegoats and excuses far easier to handle than taking the long and arduous journey of self-discovery. She never took control of herself long enough to understand the importance of standing on her own two feet and facing life head on. She never felt the pride of confronting her past and making peace with it. She never felt the feeling of accomplishment when she corrected a mistake or a bad decision. She never released the need to blame others for all that was wrong and thus - never took initiative to make things right on her own.
She was simply a bystander in her own life.
She never realized she had the power all along.
We all have things inside of ourselves we wish were different. We all have stories we wish we could go back and change or fix. Hindsight kicks our collective butt every chance it gets and we feel powerless. We feel the need to play the blame game because blaming someone else for all that is wrong is far easier than looking at ourselves.
I am no different. A sudden epiphany for me the other day revealed I was reacting to a situation badly and instead of stopping and understanding why I was reacting the way I was, I placed the blame firmly where I felt it belonged - on my mother. Because of growing up with a bi-polar mother I have found certain situations trigger a emotional response which has nothing to do with present day and everything to do with my feelings toward my childhood. I realized with sudden clarity - I needed to release it. I cannot hold today responsible for yesterday. I cannot hold someone in my present responsible for the actions of someone in my past. I need to take each person, each day and each situation on its own merits and deal with them accordingly. I need to release the knee-jerk reaction and take life as it comes.
You can't blame anyone else for how you handle any given situation.
We all draw from a wealth of experiences. From lessons we have learned, mistakes we have made and directions we chose to take. Ultimately, we made decisions, wrong or right, based on what we felt we needed to do at the time. We need to own them. We are not made of Teflon, the blame does not slide right off from us and on to the person we feel should own it. In essence, when we do so, we are handing all of our personal power to another person. Think about that for a minute. When you place the blame on someone else - you are negating all of your personal power and giving it to them. You are saying to yourself - they have more power over my life, my thoughts and my decisions than I do. I have no control over anything and they have total control.
Why would you want to do that?
When I make a bad decision, handle a situation poorly or allow my past to dictate my future - I can't blame anyone for it BUT myself and while it may be uncomfortable saying I am sorry or taking steps to correct a wrong, I have to face it because I was the one who did it. If I go out and over indulge at dinner and get a tummy ache - who am I going to blame? The waiter? The chef? Well, unless they were at my table force feeding me, no. I am going to blame my lack of will power. I am going to blame my hand for continually rising the fork to my mouth. Of course, at first, I may blame the fork - I am human after all.
Stop holding today hostage for yesterday. Stop blaming everyone else for things you have control over. If you need to be a better person - be a better person. If you need to change your lifestyle - change it. If you need to do some work on your life or situation in order to get where you want to be - do it. Stop blaming someone else and start taking responsibility for your life. If you don't like what you see when you take an honest look at yourself - own it. Own it then work on making changes.
You had the power the whole time. Use it.
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