Today’s quote comes from Gita Bellin, who says “People may fail many times, but they become failures only when they begin to blame someone else. Experience is determined by yourself – not the circumstances of your life.”
This for me, is like a kick up the backside! How many times do we not only say the words, but we also hear them – “it wasn’t my fault! It was because . . . .”
Well clearly it was my fault!
You see, I set it up that way and until I take responsibility for my own actions, I will never be able to correct the situation and move forward.
Let me give you an example. I know a lady, let’s call her Jane who is happily married. She has been married to the same man for the last 20 plus years and has had 4 children by this man. She owns her own business and he works in the hospitality industry. Jane is a bit of a control freak – actually she is a hell of a control freak!
When her and her husband first got married (let’s call him John), she set down the ground rules. She would control the finances, the household and everything that went with that. John is a pretty easy going guy and hell if she wanted the responsibility who was he to deny her.
So every month John’s salary got paid into the joint account and Jane paid all the bills – no problem. Then the kids arrived, one by one. Jane managed the children, the household and the finances. Still no problem.
Then some time down the line the children became extremely difficult – school became a huge problem and both the household and Jane’s business began to suffer. The children were all diagnosed with ADD and they were also all dyslexic. Jane really started to take strain.
Instead of Jane asking John for help, she started to pick arguments and fights. She started to nag and complain about everything in general and nothing in particular. The fights extended to the bedroom, where she now started denying John sex as a sort of a punishment. John had no clue what was going on so he did what he always did when there was strife in the home – he went to work, double shifts and on some occasions even triple shifts!
Clearly this situation could not continue and Jane ended up having an epileptic fit.
Jane blamed John for her health, the state of their marriage, the ADD and dyslexia that the children had and I guess even the weather!
Was John to blame? I personally don’t think so. John was doing what he had always done and in my opinion the only thing that he could be blamed for was ‘not noticing’ what was going on around him and then doing something about it!
It was at this point that she and John actually sat down and had a discussion about how to save their marriage, how Jane had to regulate what she did and the amount of stress that she could cope with and John committed to helping out at home more.
Jane had set her life up the way she wanted it to run and when the wheels came off, instead of recognizing that it was exactly as she wanted it, she blamed every thing on everybody else. Jane felt she had failed because John had not “been there” for her or ‘helped’ her in any way.
The moment that she was able to understand that she was the one who was responsible for the mess and that she needed to ask for assistance instead of just moaning and groaning and picking fights, they were able to deal with the problem as a unit.
Don’t get me wrong, the problem has not gone away – the children still all have ADD and dyslexia, but now both Jane and John pick up the strain and deal with it together supporting each other and backing each other.
Jane now feels that she has more control over her own life and John feels like he is more involved with his wife, his children and his family.
It’s like that old saying “be careful what you wish for . . .” Getting what you wish for or how you set something up, carries a responsibility and with that comes accountability.
Part of that responsibility means having to ‘step up to the plate!’ Understanding that you have made a mistake and taking ownership of the mistake and the problem and then doing something about it!
Own your mistake, learn from it, do something about it and then move on!