‘It’s my own fault’, we say. ‘I should have just picked myself up and moved along’.
We love to play the blame game. Blame ourselves for our choices or for our indeficiencies.
But you know what? Life is not a fault-playing game. Very few of us go out and think ‘I hope I mess up my life. I hope I make dumb decisions. I hope my life sucks.’
Nope. Instead, we did what we could with what we had and who and where we were.
We made decisions and life choices that we may make differently now, but that shows learning. Growth. Change. Maybe we wouldn’t be who we are today if we hadn’t learned from choices and experiences.
We were not deficient. We were trying in any way we could to reach out to life and others. Things happened. We didn’t get what we wanted. But, in the process, we learned. We became examples for others, for our children, for the world (even if it was an example of what-not-to-do and of how-to-extricate-yourself-from-a-bad-situation).
Bootcamp programmes often tell us that ‘You’re not trying hard enough’. Self-help memes note that ‘You don’t really want to change’. As though blaming the person (you) is good business . I’m here to tell you that it’s not.
It’s also not good self-care.
Because you know what? You do want change. But you can’t try without the fuel to try. I mean, a car can’t run without fuel. We don’t tell the car it is not trying hard enough to go. We give the car fuel, and regular tuneups. We give it oil and run it through a car wash. We give it a little care.
And that is what we need to give ourselves. The fuel and care. It is okay that we haven’t yet achieved what we thought we would achieve. It is okay that we haven’t yet got what we wanted. Yes, it is even okay that we still aren’t sure we know what it is that we want. We couldn’t run on empty.
We did what we could. Maybe we even emptied ourselves in that doing . We couldn’t then get what we dreamed of. That doesn’t make our dreams , or ourselves, worthless.
We just need to re-fuel.
Then make some changes. Work on the problem, and on the dream.
The changes you make will be as individual as you are. And, don’t worry, you don’t have to achieve it all to be or get what you want. You will continue to learn even if or when you fail. No blame.
To paraphrase author Barbara Sher, don’t let yourself and others judge you. Anyone can judge. Judging is cheap.
Reflection and learning and growth and change, on the other hand, are of significant value.
Indeed, it’s not your fault. It’s your chance.