Years ago, in an acting class, we read a book with a chapter and exercise about blame. I’ve said before that school was never my thing, but this excerpt has always stuck with me. When my son was in high school, I gave it to him to read … and shared it with him again recently.
As we prepare for the holidays, I’ve been thinking about the families who, at this time of year, struggle to overcome disagreements or long-standing family issues. It’s unfortunate that, in too many cases, misunderstandings, pride and blame can stand in the way of friendship, family or love. And, now with the holidays upon us, perhaps it’s a good time for a little introspection.
Thoughts of this reminded me of the blame excerpt from Milton Katselas’ Dreams into Action: Getting What You Want – something that to this day it’s one of the truest things I’ve ever read.
The premise is simple. Our life is our script to write, and no one else can cause you to fail, falter or abide by their wishes … unless you allow it. And when you blame others, you’re allowing other writers to change your best lines or alter scenes in your masterpiece.
Sure things happen in life. But when you blame others for those happenings and situations, you sign off the rights to your life. You empower someone else to rule over your life. And you become a victim (and according to Katselas, nothing is a bigger deterrent to advancement than victim mentality).
But that’s nonsense. It’s your life … and it’s in your hands.
If you have a conflict with a family member or friend, address it. If you have an issue with a colleague, deal with it.
If your life isn’t what you want, fix it. If your career isn’t what you, fix it. If your relationships aren’t what you want them to be, fix them.
I’m not saying it’s easy to face situations like these – in fact I know that it’s not. But my experience is that it’s ALWAYS worth it. Putting to bed the issues and moving onto a place of joy and peace is worth any temporary unease or discomfort.
So on this holiday, I encourage you to put aside blame … and embrace love, honesty and perhaps praise instead. Take back the pen and write the life you want!