Yesterday as I was writing a chapter in my book (YAY, I’m finally doing it…stay tuned!), I remembered a turning-point conversation 7 years ago.
Topic: Blaming my parents for everything negative in my life.
I was at a Women of Faith Conference in Minneapolis with my mom, aunt and great-aunt. We grabbed a bite at my ultimate fav place, PF Chang’s, and shortly into the conversation, I was the one talking (surprising to some, I know) about everything that wasn’t right. I was a blaming fool! (Uff, kind of embarrassing to think about now). I blamed my behavior on them. My tough outer skin on them. My bitterness. My ‘everything isn’t awesome’ life on them. My weight. My relationships. My everything.
Writing about this story makes my skin crawl, so I hope you don’t ever have to write about this life lesson. One, how dare I ever say that IN FRONT of my mom and close aunts and two, did I really accept no responsibility for my life?
After my rant, my aunt questioned me, without empathy yet perceived intrigue. She asked me a series of questions about why I thought that, how they grew up and how they changed their life if they feel they needed to. Eventually I began to soften and wanted to cry from embarrassment (without letting anyone know of course… vulnerability was a sign of weakness, right?). Little did I know that she granted me a gift:
THE MIRROR. THE DREADED MIRROR!
As I was pointing at/blaming my mom and dad, she lifted up the mirror so I realized I was pointing at myself. OMG, it’s me. It’s MY life and MY current situation is because of MY choices. That was one of the most pivotal lessons in my life.
I was the one I should have been blaming.
Do you ever find yourself saying this about your life?
- My parents didn’t say ‘I love you’ or ‘I’m proud of you’ so it’s their fault that I feel crappy about myself.
- I grew up with overweight parents, so there’s no hope that I can be healthy and fit.
- My parents were never around, so that’s why I got into trouble and have struggled with addiction.
- My mom was medicated for migraines and depression (or for whatever), so I’m sure I will have the same life.
- My parents didn’t have money, so I didn’t go to college and that’s why I don’t have a good job.
- My parents didn’t cook at home so I never learned about healthy eating.
Do you ever find yourself thinking (or saying) this about others?
- She always walks in the room like she thinks her shit don’t stink!
- Where in your life are you not confident and jealous of others who are?
- Can you believe she leaves her house not wearing makeup or doing her hair?
- Where in your life do you feel judged by people you don’t know? Where in your life are you not being transparent (but instead, you’re hiding)?
- She gets so defensive and accuses people all the time.
- Where in your life have you built up a brick wall around you? Who is the one person you need to forgive, for YOUR soul?
- She’s so negative, all she does is complain.
- Where in your life are you a Negative Nellie?
- She never listens and always interrupts me when I’m talking.
- Where in your life are you not listening? What are you not hearing?
We recognize traits in others that resemble who we are or who we used to be.
I know, it sure is easy to look at your life and point a finger at someone else, but don’t. Pull out your mirror and acknowledge that your health and life is your responsibility, no matter where you came from. Read this article of how these people overcame all odds…from Oprah to Bill Gates to Charlize Theron to Thomas Edison: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/25/successful-people-obstacles_n_3964459.html. This helps us to see that anything is possible when you own it, the good parts and lessons that make us GREAT!
Own it. Every part of it.