Do you know anyone who chooses to blame rather than change? Some people are stuck in the “victim mode” and seek to justify their problems rather than do something about them. Sometimes they hang onto emotional pain from many years ago and choose not to forgive or release the conflict and emotional pain. Life is all about choices and when we stay stuck in anger, resentment, and hurt, we choose to stay stuck in misery. Many people believe that psychologists want to find fault in a person’s childhood to determine where to place the blame. From my perspective, understanding the impact of our childhood experiences helps the healing process and identifies areas to make changes so that we don’t repeat what we learned. But the point is not to blame parents or other people from the past. At some point, as adults, we have to take responsibility for our lives. Acknowledging trauma and pain from the past is beneficial as long as the objective is to seek healing, resolution, and closure.
Relationships are messy, painful, and sometimes unhealthy, but we don’t have to live in the pain forever and can learn ways to let it go. Everyone experiences rejection, anger, hurt, fear, and sadness to some degree, but what we do with these feelings determines our level of resilience and our life path. We can choose to blame our parents, ex-spouse, significant other, children, boss, society, whomever we want, and wallow in our emotional pain and remain stuck in suffering. Or we can figure out options, develop a game plan, and take action.
Depending upon the situation, action might mean forgiving someone and letting go of the pain they caused. Remember forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation, forgetting, nor condoning the person that caused the pain, but it does mean choosing to let go of the negative emotions. Another action item is to figure out what you have control over and let go of the rest. We can’t control others’ thoughts, feelings, or actions so use your time wisely and work on controlling yourself. Decide that living in the present is healthier and a better focus than dwelling on the past. We can learn from our past and decide how to do things differently in the present, but it’s helpful to limit our time obsessing about yesterday. The past is history, the future a mystery, and the present a gift. So decide today to stop blaming others for your misfortune and take action to create a better life. We empower ourselves when we let go of pain from the past. Do it now!