Ever since I learnt how to count using my fingers, I have always been convinced that it is okay to blame others to save myself from trouble. Nobody taught me as a kid to place blame on others. It has always been instinctive! Schools those days were so busy training kids to keep quiet that they did not have the time to teach them to own their mistakes. While this sort of attitude didn’t really matter when I was just five, it did matter when things started to get serious in life. Whenever I faced the slightest challenge, I have tried to find some random excuse to feel sad and engage in self-pity. Now that I think about it, I realise how much easier my adult life would get if I start owning those difficult situations that make my eyes tear up in anger or frustration and taking the power of changing my life back into my hands.
As an adult, we all deal with a variety of issues – family-related, financial, psychological or personal. Through our years of experience dealing with different kinds of people around us, we tend to forget our roles in maintaining our mental health and instead, pass on most of the control to others around us. We have been practising it for so long that feeling helpless and angry becomes our go-to response when we are in trouble. Stuck in traffic? Don’t worry..curse the goddamn truck driver ahead of you! Late for a meeting? Curse your wife who made you drop the kids to the school that morning. Accused of being insensitive? Blame your tough childhood and lack of validation from your parents. Feeling depressed? Go ahead and blame the entire humanity for not being accommodative of your emotional needs. My question is – why do you have to spend a lot of energy and cry over things when you can choose to not be “helpless” and actually help yourself to feel happy?
Now, what do I mean by taking control of situations? A majority of the things in our lives are not in our control. Having said that, there is something simple yet incredibly powerful that we have in our control – our ability to let things/people influence us. We are responsible for our own happiness and as cliché as it sounds, try to get a sense of this statement! What we feel during stressful situations is something that’s not in our control. Agreed. Let’s say something or someone who said something bothers you so much that you feel an intense pressure build up deep in your lungs, making it difficult for you to breathe without crying your heart out. Okay, do so! It is healthy! But after that, go ahead and get an objective view of the problem to gracefully limit the ability of that person/subject to bother you in future. Do you really want to go through the emotional rollercoaster for that? Was the pain and confusion worth it? Can this problem be fixed without all the drama? Simply put, pick your battles and when you do pick them wisely, weigh your strategy against your peace of mind!
As easy as it sounds, I understand that letting go of blame-game or taking responsibility for something you did not do is very hard! To all those who say, “Why should I ignore the mean comment from that dude?”, “ Who does she think she is?” and “Well, I don’t want to be walked all over like that”, I’d say, “Relax! I get it”. Being the bigger person is particularly hard when you want to hold on to your ego and feel entitled to minor validation from others. Think about this, who is really suffering? You can’t be so weak to let someone direct a Soap Opera inside your head while he/she is unaffected by it. It is harder when the people involved are closer and otherwise mean a lot to you. You want to escape from the mess yet you can’t. However, you can always choose to write your own story. There is nothing more empowering than recognising the fact that you are the creator of your happiness. Stop looking for things/people to change. It is never going to happen. It is not anybody’s obligation to make things comfortable for you irrespective of how important you are to them. Realise that not just when things are going fine but also when things are rough in life, only you are accountable for your own happiness.
Don’t waste time sweating over things you have no control over and start creating little happy moments here and there to stay cheerful 🙂
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