October 14

Today's quotation:

Take your life in your own hands, and what happens?
A terrible thing:  no one to blame.

Erica Jong

Today's Meditation:

I know many people who would get upset about today's quotation, especially if they were to take the time and make the effort to realize that it's applicable to them.  I had a neighbor once who constantly complained about what a rotten hand life had dealt him, and he made sure that I knew that none of it was his fault.  Everything that went wrong in his life had to do with his wife (who was going through severe medical/emotional problems), his kids, his job. . . you name it.

And while he was a man who definitely would have claimed that he was in control of his own life and destiny, his complaints made it very clear that he didn't truly feel that way.  His complaints gave him a way to make it seem that he was deserving of everyone's sympathy, and that others couldn't expect too much out of him because of how bad things were in his life.

I learned a lot from him, especially since he often used me as a sounding board.  I learned that no matter how bad things might seem to me, there are many others who have things much worse.  And I learned to recognize in my own complaining (which I like to think wasn't as common as his) the same thought patterns that turned me into a blameless victim of people and forces outside of myself.  And when I recognized them, I'd ask myself "Do I sound like What's-his-name?"  And the answer usually was an unflattering "Yes."

So I've tried to stop playing the blame game.  I've tried to take my life into my own hands.  I've studied on what that means, and I've asked people I admire how they do what they do.  And as I try not to blame, I've come to realize that 99.9% of the time, there's really no need to blame anyone at all--things are as they are, and even if they're somewhat negative, they probably are not anyone's fault.  And that realization frees me to live my life in a very calm, relaxed way.  And I like that.  My life is my responsibility--that doesn't mean I need to control it, but how I act in it is completely up to me.  And having my life in my own hands can even mean letting go of the need to control it.

Questions to consider:

Do you have your life in your own hands?

What other people or forces do you blame for events or situations in your life?

What effects does blaming others have on your life?

For further thought:

All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault
you find with another, and regardless of how much
you blame him, it will not change you.

Wayne Dyer

  

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