Take the blame

I believe we live in a culture of blame. Everybody has someone to pin the blame on for their problems. Whether it’s in the media, at work, at home, or on the therapist’s couch, we spend a lot of time and energy looking for people to blame.

Now, there are times when others have violated the “human contract” and hurt us inequitably, but sometimes I think we try to outsource blame further than it needs to go. And the only person that harms is ourselves.

Part of the human experience that’s pretty inescapable is pain. Physical or emotional, deep-seated or in-the-moment, debilitating or silently throbbing, we all experience this at some point or another. If you’re not currently in some sort of pain, it’s probably not hard to remember the last time you were. But for those who are in painful situations today, perhaps it’s time for a paradigm shift.

Until we take responsibility and, yes, the blame for our part in landing us where we find ourselves (and our part may be bigger than we’d care to admit), we’re powerless to change our situation. After all, if outside powers put us where we are, it stands to reason that only those outside powers can rescue us out.

My major pain point over the past few years has been spending most of my time working in a capacity that doesn’t utilize the best of what I have to offer. Whether at the day job, at church, or in volunteer, I was engaged in many activities that didn’t tap into my areas of strength. I felt under-utilized and pretty lost.

At first, I wanted to blame everyone around me. Those whose influence pushed me to choose a major I didn’t like, take a job in that field, and even pursue a certification. Those who would tell me to learn to love my job. Those who would tell me not to pursue other dreams I’d had.

But eventually, I had to get to a place where I took responsibility for my part of the mess. I had to recognize that I was encouraged to enter the field I’m in because I wasn’t putting in the time to figure out what direction I wanted to take. I had unconsciously outsourced that major decision all those years ago, and I’ve been paying for it ever since.

The perpetrator of all my problems has always just been me. I’m the reason I work in a field I don’t love and am growing to despise. The main and possibly only person to blame is me.

But if I caused the pain, I can get rid of it too. If I’m the problem, I can be the solution too. And all the help in the world can’t do a thing for me if I won’t be.

What’s a pain point in your life today? Have you been outsourcing the blame? How can you take responsibility for the problem and start being the solution?

  1. December 2nd, 2011

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