“When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.” – Dalai Lama
I truly appreciate this quote of the day. It really resonates with my own personal experience and even of those who have been in my life.
When I was a teenager, I blamed people and things outside myself for my unhappiness. There always seemed to be something or someone who did something to ME, that made me unhappy. I felt powerless, depressed, and lost. I felt like the world was working against me and often felt suicidal.
Then one day I woke up and realized that I wasn’t powerless. Yeah, there were situations I had no control over, but I always had a choice on how I would feel and deal with each situation. I stopped blaming the situation or the people in the situation and started being accountable for my own actions and feelings. My life did a complete 180.
When I realized that it was my thoughts, feelings, and actions that were “making” me feel this way, I slowly started on the road to changing it. I started thinking of every situation, no matter if it is positive or negative, as a learning experience, and looked to see what I could learn from it. I slowly changed my way of thinking. Instead of thinking that I was always broke or that bad things happened to me, I started to practice gratitude, appreciate the abundance in my life and all the good things happening in my life or that I wanted to happen in my life.
Don’t get me wrong. When crappy things happen, I do still feel upset, angry, sad, frustrated… I just don’t let those feelings continue on for long periods of time, and I don’t blame anyone for the way I feel. I still acknowledge what has happened and how it made me feel, ie “that was not nice of ______” or I wish they didn’t do that, etc. And I have some really wonderful people in my life who listen to me while I vent my frustrations (to them I am truly grateful), but then I do my best to let it go and look at what the lesson is that I can learn from the situation.
Oddly enough, my last long term relationship was with someone who always blamed others for everything in his life. I tried to help him see that blame is not the answer to happiness. I ended our on and off relationship after 6 years, when he continued to blame others for his unhappiness. I found it to be too draining and it became “insanity”, as Einstein so eloquently put it (“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”). So instead of feeling the insanity, I chose to remove myself from the situation. Otherwise, I would have started to blame him for the frustration I was feeling.
Even still, to this day, he continues this behaviour. The last time I spoke to him, I had asked why he refused to pay child support and why he was being a “dead beat dad”, and he said, “You made me this way”. I just calmly replied, “No one is to blame for your actions, except yourself. You need to take responsibility and be accountable for your own actions.” And I have not spoken to him since. I can only hope one day he will realize that we are responsible for our own actions or inactions.
Many of us go through not so nice situations or end up in not so nice interactions with others. Just remember not to take anything anyone does personally. It is only you who can change your own actions and views. It is only you who is responsible for your actions, and no one else.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this subject. Your comments are welcome and appreciated 🙂