BLAME or GRATITUDE

48 - sunset oceanHow many times in your life have you blamed situations, people, your past or your upbringing, for how you are today, the problems you have today?

Most of us do this. Perhaps you blame your genetics for the fact that you struggle with your weight or perhaps you blame your mother or father for how you were brought up.

We feel more comfortable blaming other people or situations, because then we don’t feel the responsibility for changing what we think, do, say or believe. “It’s not my fault!” However every single day we CHOOSE what we say, think, do and believe and instead of being intentional with every choice we make, we ‘default’ to what’s easiest and most of the time, ‘default’ is negative.

A few months ago I realised how my thinking and perspective had allowed me to blame someone else for problems in my life. For most of my life, I blamed my over-bearing, dominant, controlling, self-opinionated, dictatorial father for so many things. I blamed him for not being ‘approachable’, for never giving me a hug, for never ‘listening’ to me because my opinion wasn’t good enough, for judging everything I did and for never saying he was proud of me. I blamed him for being a strict and scary father who we were frightened of. I blamed him for making me feel this way.

Then one day, recently, I watched Tony Robbins during a ‘Strategic Intervention’ session. There was this woman who blamed her father for her problems in her life, for so many things, so much hurt, so much pain. I related to that. But as Tony listened, he asked relevant questions and then he turned it all on its head. He said “So you blame your father for all those things. You blame him for that hurt and pain you feel. You also then must blame your father for the good things as well. You can’t just blame him for the bad. You have to blame him for showing you how to raise your kids differently – you didn’t want to raise your kids like your father raised you, so you made a conscious effort to be there for them, loving, available, to your kids – everyday. You blame him for that.”

Then the penny dropped. It was what you could call an epiphany – and I broke down and cried. I realised I also had to ‘blame’ my father for being my first ‘coach’ in public speaking when I was 17, because he had always been confident on stage and in front of an audience. I had to blame him for giving me that same ability! I had to blame him for showing me how I wanted to raise my kids – my three loving adult kids who will ALWAYS hug me, no matter where we are. I had to blame my father for showing me that I wanted to always be approachable, understanding, non-judgemental to my kids – and that’s exactly how I raised them. If my father had been different, perhaps I wouldn’t have been the mother that I was and am today. I had to blame my father for making me accepting, open, warm and grateful!

My father passed away last October, after struggling with Alzheimers for many years. I cried because I understood. I cried because I no longer blamed him – I accepted him, I loved him and I missed him! I am who I am BECAUSE of who my father was, because of the choices I made, the intentional choices I made, to be a better person. I had not been grateful for what my father had shown me, nor the gift he gave me in being able to speak to large audiences. Now, in some respects, it was TOO LATE. My father was no longer around, to tell him how grateful I was, to just accept him and know deep down that I was, who I was, and successful in what I do, because of him. And that hurt.

Don’t wait until it’s too late, to think differently about who and what you blame. Don’t wait until it’s too late, to show gratitude to those who have helped you become who you are today.

Don’t let the sun go down on missed opportunities to show gratitude.Turn blame into gratitude and you will see life so very differently. I did.

Watch my video talking about this subject:

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