Sunday, February 13, 2011

Face in the mirror

The face I make when I know I screwed something up for myself

"Something magical happens when we accept personal responsibility for our behavior and our results.  But, it's not easy, because it's human nature to 'pass the buck'.  I know there have been times in my life where I found myself blaming others, blaming the economy, blaming this, blaming that!  but as I've gotten older (and a little wiser) when things go wrong in my work, or my life, I can always find the culprit...in the mirror.  In every instance, it always comes back to choices I've made in my life that put me exactly where I am today.  I have to say that this one 'tweak' in my attitude may sound like a little thing, but it has made a big difference in my life."  - excerpt from "Who Are 'They' Anyway?" - by B.J. Gallagher and Steve Ventura

Take responsibility for your own actions.  Stop blaming your problems on someone else.  I need to work on this.

A couple days ago at work something happened that upset a coworker and she immediately placed the blame on someone else.  I had no doubts that this mistake was completely her own fault (and such a tiny, insignificant thing), but I understood the need to place the blame somewhere else. I ran that scenario through my head over and over that day trying to figure out how she could possibly rationalize that the blame should be placed on this other person.  No matter how many ways I twisted the story around in my head the blame still fell on her. 

She did what so many of do; instead of admitting we are not perfect we find someone or something we can blame our imperfections on.  She wasn't ready to own up to her reaction to the situation and so she found a way to blame her reaction on someone else.  I do this way too often.

On the way home from work Troy and I take time to talk about how our days went.  Since we have such a long commute we have lots of time to go in to detail which feeds right into this whole idea of shifting the blame to someone else. The more time I have to reflect on the day, the more time I have to figure out where the blame should be placed. If I had a bad day I am quick to find someone else to blame it on.  Somebody said or did something that put me in a bad mood.  When I had a great day I am quick to pat myself on the back for remembering to see the positive.  How come it's someone else's fault when I have a bad day, but I get the credit for all the good days?

I deserve credit for the good days!  Whether it was an easy day to find happiness or a day where I had to struggle to look for it in the small things, I deserve some credit.  I chose to find happiness and I'll pat myself on the back if I want to :)

I am also the same person who chose to react negatively on those bad days.  I need to take responsibility for my whole self, not just the good parts of myself.  On my good days I am the world's greatest wife (someone should buy me a t-shirt).  On my bad days it's Troy's fault for causing me to be a bad wife.  If he asked the questions I wanted him to, knew to do the things I never asked him to do, gave me the responses I wanted...then I would be a better wife.  It's not my fault I am being grouchy towards him.  If he had done the dishes then I would have been able to cook him an actual meal instead of just warming up a hot dog for myself and leaving him to figure out his own meal.  His fault, not mine.  If he told me I looked pretty after I tried on 5 different outfits then I wouldn't have been forced to give him the cold shoulder all evening.  His fault, not mine.  If he had read my mind and known what I wanted then I wouldn't have to be a grumpy wife.  His fault, not mine. 

Whose fault is it really?  I would find the answer if I just looked in the mirror.  I am so afraid to admit that I am the one putting myself into the bad mood, that I am the one who made the mistake, that I have faults and so I find ways to blame it on others.  I am sabotaging my own happiness.  It actually feels kind of great to realize that I'm making that decision.  If I am the one that chose to react negatively then I am the same person who can chose to turn that around.  No waiting on someone to apologize, or fix the mistake, because it's all me. 

I am responsible for Misty.  I am the one that chooses to stay at a job that doesn't really fulfill me, when I really want to blame it on "false advertising" during the application process.  I am the one that chose to have the cookies for breakfast that left me feel icky all day, when I really want to blame it on the flu (or a cold, or allergies, or anything other than myself).  I am the one that chooses to not stop by and see my nephew, when I really want to to blame it on time and distance. 

"When things go wrong in my life, I can always find the culprit...in the mirror. In every instance, it always comes back to choices I've made in my life that put me exactly where I am today.  I have to say that this one 'tweak' in my attitude may sound like a little thing, but it has made a big difference in my life." 

1 comment:

  1. MISTY! I had no idea you followed my blog and I just got your comment on the Monsoon Wedding posts. So great. Thank you for reading it. It means a lot to me to get the comments. Oh I'm distracted by the Sweet Tooth post to my right. mmm...

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