May 28, 2015
Life is hard. Sometimes bad things happen that require a substantial amount of personal strength to overcome. It could be a lost job, a divorce, an accident, a traumatic childhood incident, an illness, a death, or a myriad of other possible misfortunes that leave us knocked on our butts. We flounder, trying to find our footing, but these events change our lives. As time goes on and we assimilate these tragedies, we have two choices. The first one is to accept the situation, accommodate for the changes, and find a way to move forward. The second choice is the Blame Game.
Unfortunately, I have lived through all of the aforementioned disasters, some of them occurring simultaneously, and for years I wallowed. I didn’t know I wallowed. I thought I had accepted the changes and moved on. It didn’t occur to me I hadn’t until someone said to me, “Well, you’ve identified every way things can’t change, so you’d better get used to the life you created,” I wish I would have heard the message they tried to send. I didn’t. I got angry, dug my feet in, and played a serious match of The Blame Game.
-It’s not my fault that happened.
-I can’t help that it affected me this way.
-If that hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be like this.
-If only things would change, then I could be happy.
-Why should I have to change? I didn’t do this.
-You just don’t understand what I’ve had to go through.
And the accusations went on and on. The ironic part is, I had a poster hanging in my classroom with Henry Ford’s famous quote: “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” I read it every day and didn’t grasp the meaning until my mentor called me on my bullsh*t. She asked me how much longer I planned on giving the past control over my life, and when did I think I might take responsibility for my life, because she was tired of hearing how everyone else should be responsible for me. I puffed up and blustered my way through all of my Blame Game accusations and she read my poster to me and said, “Well, I guess you’re right. You can’t.”
Not because she called me out, but because I realized I wasted so much time wishing for things to be different, blaming events and others for my current situation, and wallowing in my own self-pity. Sometimes it takes tough love to realize you’ve made yourself your own victim.
Life is hard and bad things happen, but at least I woke up this morning. Today is going to happen whether I want it to or not, so I have a choice to make. I can continue to find a way to enrich my life, seek happiness, and make positive things happen, or I can take a step backward and wallow in misery, blaming my past for why I’m not where I thought I should be.
Happy. I choose happy.
What do you choose?
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