Let's face it...when things go wrong or don't go our way in life, it seems easier to pass the blame onto someone or something else. And, my experience and observations have been, that more often than not, we find ourselves blaming our upbringing for different things in our life as well.
I watch and listen to my students and often see my younger self in them and I see and hear the blame game in everyday situations. When emotions are high and we are struggling to keep it all together, it is far less painful to look outside of yourself than to look inwards. Looking inwards requires delving into the dark side of our thoughts and emotions and often they are places we try to avoid. But avoiding the hard stuff and avoiding responsibility for the hard stuff doesn't give us the opportunity to learn and grow and become who we need to be.
So what if we taught our little humans (and ourselves in the process) how to not only take responsibility for their own actions and behaviours but also taught them how to blame so that as they moved into adulthood, they understood themselves better?
Not sure what I mean? Allow me to explain!
A couple of years ago, I attended Date With Destiny with Tony Robbins. There was a discussion about who, as adults, we blamed for who we became or what had happened throughout our life. Now when we think of blame, we usually go straight to the negative stuff. But then he made an interesting point. If we are going to blame people for all the bad stuff, then we should be blaming them for all the good stuff too.
So...what if we taught our kids (and ourselves) how to blame eloquently?
We need to learn and understand a few things first...
The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life - your behaviours, your actions, your words, your reactions and responses, your past - that is the moment you realise you can change anything in your life. Life is not as complicated as we have a habit of making it out to be. It is much simpler. But deciding to be responsible for everything in your life will change your life for good.
Desire to change
One of the happiest moments we will ever experience in life is the moment we find the courage to let go of the things we can not change and work on the things we can. I have learned that it does not take years to change your life. Your life changes the moment you decide you want it to. For example, smokers don't take years to quit. They might talk about it for years. But they quit when they decide, in a single moment, that they want to change the habit. A single second. Only when the desire to change is strong enough, will we change.
Aaaah.....excuses. We all use them...for so many areas in our life! I am going to be blunt here...and I say this as much for myself as for anyone else reading this! Excuses are just lies we tell ourselves so that things don't have to be our fault. To be honest...we all know we use them. Our growth happens when we recognise them for what they are, then we can learn how to do something differently.
The Truth About Blaming
The truth behind blame is that when we blame or criticise other people, we are usually avoiding some truth about ourselves. The reality is, we know our own truth deep down even if we don't say it out loud. It's easier to blame others for our situation than search and own our own truth. Blaming others is simply about excusing yourself from any responsibility. The trouble with blaming is that it creates a diversion for our mind and our goals. It steals our time away from improving our own lives.
How to Blame Eloquently
Own your past.
It is much more productive to search your own past and find what caused your 'faults' in order to own it, learn from it and grow into the person you are becoming. At any moment, the decision you make can change the direction of your life forever. So whatever you chose in the past led you to exactly where you are today. You are exactly where you need to be. Your past experiences and actions and decisions have led you here. Your past has helped you to become who you are today and who you needed to be for this chapter of your life. So don't begrudge it. Learn to be thankful for the lessons and recognise the challenges as moments of growth.
Responsibility and Emotions
It is always so much easier to blame others and really....you could spend your whole life blaming others or the world around you for what is happening in your life or what is not happening! But the truth is - both your successes and your failures are entirely your own responsibility. You make the choices and you choose your responses to situations. The situations themselves may be completely out of your control but you choose what to do next.
When kids find excuses, it is our job as adults to focus on responsibility. When emotions are heightened, that still does not give us or kids the excuse to blame others for our behaviours. It doesn't matter what is happening in life or how we are feeling, we are always responsible.
If you are going to blame others - your parents, your siblings, your friends, the world around you - for all the bad stuff you think is happening in your life, then you MUST blame them for all the good stuff too. The good stuff is all of those incredible qualities that make you who are today. The good stuff is the growth you had through the experiences you were given through them.
You don't have any control over what other people say or do or how they act. But you DO have control over your own actions and responses. I encourage you to take a moment to think....if your parents were not who they were, or your friends or ex-boss or whoever you have had a negative experience with, was not who they were, then you would not be the person you are today.
What if we blamed others or circumstances for experiences that helped us to become - determined, focused, compassionate, loving, driven, empathetic, inspired, problem solvers, great negotiators, exceptional leaders etc. We all impact each other. Everything is connected. It is not just, what we might call our 'negative' qualities that we blame others for but also, all of our positive qualities. The qualities that make us who we are and who we need to be. All of the bad experiences we have had with people in the past - instead of blaming them, we can thank them for the opportunity to learn something about yourself and others from those experiences.
When you don't blame others intelligently, you give up your power to change. You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle
Until next week....have a wonderfully mindful week!
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