I was up watching the presidential debate on Monday and after a point I got weary. All they were doing was blaming. You did this. You didn’t do this. This country is in a mess because of you! You see people don’t want to take responsibility. When things are going great they will most willingly take credit for it. When things go downhill everyone wants to bail out and start pointing fingers.
It takes courage to own your successes and your failures. To bite your lip and stop yourself from blaming others. You are where you are in your life because of your choices. And by choices I mean your actions, your words and your thoughts. The three are not mutually exclusive. Its a package deal. You can choose to think, talk and act in a certain way and those patterns will produce a certain outcome. It’s when you live unconsciously that you end up in a mess and don’t see yourself responsible for the mess you are in. What do I mean by living unconsciously? Living in a state where you are not aware of the power vested in you to create the life of your dreams. Or if you prefer, a life straight out of your worst nightmares!
The part of our personality that hates being responsible when things go wrong, is the ego. It loves to gloat over its successes but runs from its failures and scrounges around for someone or something to blame. These days anything goes. You can even blame the President!
I blamed everything from the INS to my husband and parents when I was in a bad place in my life. It is a very dangerous game, this blame game. Because it keeps you stuck. It makes you powerless. You are in effect saying that you have no power to control your life. That you are a victim of the circumstances and the people who supposedly control you. Even if your circumstances change and the people who supposedly tortured you are long gone, you will remain stuck mentally and emotionally if you fail to take off that powerless victim hat.
It’s true that sometimes we get hit by unforeseen calamities for which we could never have been prepared. In such cases it’s good to accept the situation and move on. Blaming and grieving more than you need to keeps you from getting yourself out of that situation. Keeps you in a victim state of mind. But in most other cases as an adult you do have a choice. You can choose to stay in a bad marriage where you are abused. You can choose to be in a job where you are harassed by your colleagues and your boss. You can choose to stay on the couch all day and say it’s too hard to find a job.
Some of you think you are being saintly when you take all the blame. You walk around with a sign hanging around your neck – BLAME ME! This is the other extreme, where you are so spineless that you take responsibility for other people’s goof ups! It’s self destructive and other people feed off this by dumping blame on you. You walk around thinking you are a walking time bomb. Any time something random happens (usually bad stuff) to some random person you think it’s your fault! This one is hard to get out of because it is a mixture of low self esteem and powerlessness that keeps you from standing up and asking other people to take responsibility instead of doling out the blame!
Blaming is an excuse you make up to stay put. It prevents us from embracing our magnanimous selves. So I say it’s time to pack up all the blame and excuses in a big trunk and ship it off to Timbuktu. Enough already! Stop blaming and take responsibility. You are an adult. Act like one. Get clear about the life you want and go for it. One step at a time. Don’t wait for someone else to come rescue you or a voice from the heavens to tell you what to do. Be your own compass and if you make the wrong turn it’s ok. Ultimately you will get there and you can give yourself a pat on the back when you do. Because you made it happen. Like everything else before this – you made it happen. You’ve got the power. So take charge and stop playing the blame game.