This past week I have really learned something that I ran away from for the longest. It’s the lesson of how important it is to learn to take responsibility for your actions. Yes, even when it hurts and the other person did you worse.
It came as a surprise to me, believe it or not, to realize that I was playing a victim for such a long time and pushing the boundaries just to see where the other person will break, and then take the breaking point as an excuse to blame the other person for where we both ended up.
It’s a wicked thing to do because the world runs on this idea that the fault always falls on only one person – either it was you or him, but both are not likely to be the perpetrator.
When a relationship ends, and I have seen what I am about to write all around me, each partner always points out at the wrongdoings of the other person. It’s always his or her fault, he or she was the crazy one and it was the other partner that should have saved the relationship if they really cared.
I see this in my relationships, too.
Many years ago I was going out with this guy whose only mistake was that he was too honest about what he wanted (fun) and I thought he was playing me, but I forgot to take responsibility for agreeing to be a part of the game. Sure, I was naive but I was also smart enough to know that teasing and hoping that commitment was what he really wanted was going to end up bad for both of us.
Let’s look at my relationship with a friend that is not quite the same as it was 5 years ago. Her part in this situation might be in the fact that she puts all her attention to her boyfriend and doesn’t understand how I feel because of that, but my fault is that I judge her for having a boyfriend in the first place.
Or a relationship with a friend that I had just a year ago with whom I ended up not speaking to due to growing apart. His fault might lay in his refusal to admit when he does something wrong or doesn’t walk the walk, but my fault was that I was too pushy because I wanted him to snap and prove to me that he is actually against me and also that I was easily triggered by his different beliefs and refused to admit it.
It was very hard to accept that I am to blame, too, for these relationships failing, but its liberating! It gives me the freedom to step into other relationships fully aware that I hold a place for the other person, too. That they are not the only ones who need to want this to work, but I have to want it too.
And who knows what might happen if you tell the person that you accept your part. Maybe you can reconcile and start again. Miracles do happen and not all former relationships are better left behind. People grow.
So let me ask you now:
- Who did you end your relationship with?
- Who do you blame for that?
- What was your part in it?
- What have you learned?
Every day we have a chance to do better and be kinder. Every day we have the opportunity to be born again and to take steps towards a better future.
Why not take responsibility? Sure there are times when it truly isn’t your fault, but let’s be honest, how many times is that actually the case?
Value freedom enough to free yourself from the guilt that you will someday have to lay in because you can’t pretend that you are innocent forever.
True growth comes when you take responsibility for your actions and for the mess you left behind. You can’t possibly become a better person if you don’t learn from your mistakes, and we all do them!
When you know better, you can do better. When you do better, you have better results in your life.
Besides taking responsibility for one’s actions, there are many other ways to be living a better life. One of them is meditation, and because I love it so much, here is a post that I wrote with lessons from my meditation journey.