I think we all know people who believe that everything bad that happens to them is someone else's fault. They never see their role in it; they never accept that there are consequences for their choices and their actions; they live in total denial. In their eyes they are picked on, the universe singles them out unfairly. Maintaining that attitude makes it so easy - if it's never your fault you bear no responsibility, and there is never a need to consider making any changes in the way you conduct your life.
I would like to believe that I never have a hand in the not so great things that happen in my life. Taking responsibility for our choices and actions can sometimes be uncomfortable and even embarrassing. But I know myself too well to ever believe I am an innocent victim of fate. In fact I could easily be the poster child for poor choice-making in much of life, and I've had to live with the consequences of those choices. I can't say that's been much fun, but it has been a powerful lesson. Eventually it dawned on me that if I wanted my life to be different I would have to do something different.
Seven years ago I made a conscious choice to do something different when it came to seeking a partner, and in doing so I ended up with Papa Bear, the best guy ever! But it isn't always that clear-cut and simple. Sometimes despite our best intentions thing don't work out like we plan or we end up handling things badly. We are imperfectly human, we make mistakes, and sometimes we just blow it entirely. What's important is that we acknowledge our mistakes, that we own them, and that we make amends in situations where we can.
Things that don't go well in our lives provide the perfect opportunity for introspection - what could we have done differently, what should we do next time? No matter how hard I try, there are times when I fall short, and times when I just screw up entirely. I don't feel very proud of myself at those times, but I do feel better when I accept ownership, rather than trying to blame on someone or something else. Making a mistake isn't something to be ashamed of, we all do it. Shame comes in attempting to deny it or disown it. It takes courage to admit our mistakes and deal with the consequences, but as a grownup I am responsible for myself, and if I said it or did it (or didn't do it if I should have), I will own it. That's called integrity, and it's an important part of who I want to be.
This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are opposite and own.
If you enjoy writing, come and join us!