We all know Donny and Marie were a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. I tend to be a little bit Martha (you know the Biblical one that was whining cuz Mary wasn’t helping her get all the work done) and a little bit prodigal son’s brother (you know the one that was bitter cuz Dad was throwing a party for the drunken brother who left home to party and now was back); neither makes for good song lyrics or character traits. I tend to gravitate to the bitter, to the grudge, to the anger due to the injustice of it all. In my defense I have had some justification for my anger. But for many years after my divorce, my reaction to anything that was unpleasant or difficult was to immediately blame my ex for all the misery that I found myself experiencing.
Had to leave my dream job and drive a tractor at work: you can bet I was screaming obscenities his way
Dumping bags and bags of trash in a dumpster and getting drenched with trash juice: rest assured I was throwing blame in my ex’s general direction
Working 70 hours a week in the summer when I should have been on the beach with my boys, damn right I was cursing him (no literally, I may have tried to put an actual curse on him)
But something miraculous happened this past New Years Eve. (Which, ironically, is the date 8 years ago that I had had enough of the chaos and addiction that had hijacked my life.) A sewer line broke on the property that I manage. Flooded tennis courts and filled ditches. Just pause a moment and picture that with me. Yea, Happy New Year to me! So while most people were putting on their sequin dresses and fancy shoes, I was dealing with S*#t. Believe me, the symbolism to the 8 year anniversary was not lost on me. But what was lost was the blame. It wasn’t my ex’s fault that the sewer line broke. For the first time in a long time I realized I wasn’t blaming my ex for the crappy (pun intended) situation I was facing.
That’s some serious progress. I may be a slow learner, but it appears I may have graduated from the blame game.
“Yes there are times when legitimately things are not our fault. Blaming others, however, keeps us in a stuck state, and is ultimately hard on our own self esteem.” -Eric Allenbaugh
In the beginning of any recovery from an unjust, unplanned, or unwanted negative situation there is real anger and blame. People cause us hurt and damage all the time. I am not saying to skip this part of the process. Just don’t park yourself there like I did. Be a little less Martha and prodigal son’s brother.
At some point, and hopefully for you it is not during a sewer line break, we have to stop blaming the people and hurts of the past for our current predicaments. I believe there may have been a little song written about it; something about letting it go. I don’t know, maybe. But what I do know is there is freedom when we finally put the past where it belongs and take ownership of our current situation. I was lucky enough to have a great childhood with loving and protective parents, but a lot of people didn’t. For some of them, even as adults, they continue to blame their parents for their current situation.
Is it time to let it go?
Time to stop hurling blame at those who have hurt us?
At what point do the hurts of the past stop being the cause of the struggles of today?
I sincerely hope you are a faster learner than I am. But however long it takes you, leave the blame game behind. Believe me, in that game there is only one loser if you don’t…yourself
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”— Jim Rohn