It is commonplace for humans to place blame for their upsets. We blame our spouses, our children, our friends or even co-workers for making us mad. We can also blame our computers, the weather or the long line at the grocery store for ruining our day. Last week, I questioned whether this is possible. How can someone else truly ‘make’ you get upset?
The answer is that they can’t. No one can make us upset or frustrated. No one puts us in the state of misery except for ONE; the ONE you face in the mirror every day.
We are just accustomed to placing blame on others (or even other stuff) for making us upset or angry. We see everyone do it, and most of us just join right in. The Internet, social media and TV shows are filled with examples of those getting attention for sharing their upsets, and almost always blaming in the process.
The Partnership of Victim and Blame
Blaming and victimhood go hand in hand. In fact, they must go together. So, the moment I blame you for my misery, I am your victim.
And, additionally, you own me. You own my state of mind. You own my happiness. You own my inner mind space, as you fill my head with thoughts about your behavior or words.
And, I could try to talk my way out of it. But the double talk becomes laughable. Just face it: If you can make me upset, I have become your victim and you own my well-being.
If you step back and notice what that feels like, then you can see how painful this reality becomes if you are one who likes to blame others for your misery.
But What If I Don’t Want to Blame? I Just Do.
The first step here is to see the process for what it is. It’s important to get brutally honest about how this works, so you can begin to take responsibility for your life, your happiness and your state of mind.
Taking full responsibility means you now want to learn more about how the mind works and…
How Does This Happen So Effortlessly to Undermine Happiness?
In our mind, we develop a set of rules, or expectations about how life should unfold. It’s the silent, and at times not so silent, ‘should’ that is the problem.
We believe our spouses ‘should’ do what we want. We believe our friends ‘should’ act the way we want. We are convinced our children ‘should’ listen despite our poor parenting strategies. We think our computers ‘should’ always function perfectly.
And yet, we can see that these SHOULDS are often violated, especially by those close to us. And with every violation of our expectations comes an upset…day in and day out. Same old should. Same old upsets. Same old pattern of misery making.
How Can I Change This Misery Making Process?
1. List the Absolutely Reasonable ‘Shoulds’ or Expectations You Hold That Keep Getting Violated.
An example would be; ‘She should do more of I want her to do.’ Perhaps you have been together 10 years, and she still doesn’t want to do what you want her to. And you keep getting upset over it. This is perfect ‘should’ to have on the list.
2. List What Is Actual Reality.
Next, we state reality: She doesn’t do what I think she should do (mostly). That’s reality.
She just doesn’t meet my expectations, no matter how loud, how strong, how upset I become…she doesn’t change to meet my expectation. The goal here is make sure you write down the winner every single day: reality.
3. How Much Do You Want to Win Over Reality?
Now, being back in control of your emotions is only a moment away. Just ask yourself honestly this question: Do you want to be the one who is right, and then continue to hold onto your ‘shoulds’ that you carry? If so, no problem. You just get to have the misery making that comes with it. In other words, keep your same expectations. You just must get the same misery.
STOP…you might say. I don’t want the misery.
If so, then let reality win without objection. That’ right: Just let reality win and abandon your expectations of what ‘should be’ over what actually ‘is.’
Give up being right about what should happen and surrender to what does happen. With this, comes immense peace of mind. There is no inner argument with the reality you have come to know.
Is this easy? Well, only if you truly desire to be free of your upsets. Most of us are not that motivated. We want to be right, holding to our should about others, much more than we want to be happy.
But in case you are one of the few, then simply set the intention to be happy each day and make this a priority over any other should about others. This simple commitment begins the journey to ending blame and victimhood and puts you in control of your day.
Contemplate This: What will drive your experience of this day?
If you say, ‘Oh…it depends,” then you are setting yourself up to be the victim of those around you. Instead, what if your intention is the single most important part of your day to keep in mind.
Do you have the power to have that intention rule the day? Rule the hour? Rule the moment?
The more you strongly, emotionally, and fully embrace an intention to joyful or kind or compassionate, then that intention could rule your day today.
There is more to come about intentions, and the power of the full-throttle intention to transform your life. But for now, please understand: Let reality be what it is. Be more concerned about your intention to have the experiences today that you seek!