Every experience we face in life attributes to our growth and learning. As travelers, we run into a gamut of roadblocks that cause us to place blame ineffectively (i.e. weather delays flights but we place blame on the airline customer service representative.) Ultimately though, we learn that patience can sometimes make a difference, and we carry that forward to our next travel experience.
This week’s Thoughtful Thursday explores how one can place blame effectively – rather than turn everyone into a villain, see the silver lining and see how YOU can win the blame game.
Guest Blog Post by Christine Hassler
Last month, I attended Date with Destiny, which was my first Tony Robbins event. Tony is truly masterful at what he does and I had the extra bonus of going with an awesome group of friends. One powerful takeaway that I wanted to share with you is about how to blame effectively.
Tony talks a lot about our stories, which are created by the meaning we give to events in our life. Our stories usually have a heaping dose of blame mixed into them. We blame others for hurting us, making us feel a certain way, not behaving the way we wanted them to, etc. Blame may be comforting because it justifies our hurt; however, it is completely paralyzing because it makes us a victim of our life rather than a co-creator.
Tony’s advice was that if you are going to blame, at least do so effectively by blaming them for all the lessons and blessings that came from what they did or didn’t do. This resonates with what I believe and teach, which is that EVERY person in our life serves our growth. The Universe makes no accidents in terms of who the cast of characters are in our life story . . . BUT we make the mistake of casting too many villains rather than angels in our own story.
For example, when my ex-fiance broke up with me unexpectedly six months before our wedding, I was incredibly hurt and villainized him for it. How could he do that? Didn’t he love me? He made a promise to me; why didn’t he keep it? Blame. Blame. Blame. And you know where that kind of blame got me? Absolutely NOWHERE. I stewed in my depression and heartache until I learned how to blame him effectively. Today I blame him for teaching me how to love myself. I blame him for having the courage to end something that wasn’t right, when I didn’t. I blame him for inspiring me to share my story with others. I blame him for being the catalyst for my awakening. I blame him for being an angel in the story of my life.
The dictionary defines blame as: to place responsibility for something; being the cause or source of something. Can you redefine blame in a way that supports the story of your life that you want to tell? Are you ready to see that ALL people in your life have been responsible for your growth and awakening?
Today my invitation to you is to reach out to someone in your life who you have been negatively blaming and blame them effectively. Call them. Write them an email. Or at the very least, write them a letter in your journal. Share the following things:
- What for and how you have been blaming them in the past?
- Thank them for the role they have played in your life and admit that you have been mistaken in holding them responsible for any of your suffering.
- Forgive them for any judgments or resentments you’ve been carrying around (remember forgiveness does not mean you condone what happened, but rather that you are letting go of the pain you have been carrying around about it).
- Blame them effectively by sharing what you have learned from them, what qualities they have strengthened in you, and how they have been an inspiration in your life.
If you continue redefining blame as: to place responsibility for something THAT CATAPULTED YOUR GROWTH; being the cause or source of something AMAZING THAT OFFERS YOU TREMENDOUS GIFTS, who else can you blame effectively?
You can blame the person who you thought abandoned you as the reason you are so committed to being there for the people in your life. You can blame anyone who you felt abused you as the inspiration for embarking on your spiritual path. You can blame the guy who didn’t call you back after a great date for showing his character early and liberating you from future suffering. You can blame the person who didn’t hire you for a job for moving you one step closer to the position that is more aligned for you. You can even blame the person who cut you off in traffic for giving you an opportunity to practice patience and non-reactivity.
Freedom from suffering comes from giving a different meaning to the things we latch onto as the cause of our suffering. So if you are going to play the blame game, win it!!
“I praise loudly, I blame softly.” Catherine the Great
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” Albert Ellis
About the Author:
Christine Hassler left her successful job as a Hollywood agent at 25 to pursue a life she could be passionate about…but it did not come easily. After being inspired by her own unexpected challenges and experiences, she realized her journey was indeed her destination. In 2005, she wrote the first guide book written exclusively for young women, entitled 20 Something 20 Everything. Christine’s second book, The 20 Something Manifesto written for men and women stems from her experience coaching twenty-something’s.
Today, she supports individuals as a Life Coach helping clients discover the answers to the questions: “Who Am I, What do I want, and How do I get it?” As a professional speaker, Christine leads seminars and workshops to audiences around the country. She has spoken to over 10,000 college students as well as to conferences and corporations about generational diversity. Christine has appeared as an expert on The Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, E!, Style and PBS, as well as various local television and radio shows, speaking about life issues and “Expectation Hangovers®” – a phenomenon she identified and trademarked.
Christine is the spokesperson for Zync from American Express and the key resource for their Quarterlife Program which empowers young people to take control of their finances. She also created a life balance curriculum for the Leadership Institute and is a member of Northwestern University’s Council of 100. www.christinehassler.com