Have you guys seen Into the Woods yet?
Magical. Marvelous. Meryl Streep.
All that would have been enough for this music nerd, but as an added bonus there were some nice little morals worked into the plot, true fairytale-style.
One part in particular really resonated with me. Toward the end of the show, all the characters find themselves in a big giant fustercluck- lost in the woods, babies crying, giants on the loose, and lives at stake. Instead of solving the *major* problem at hand, the characters begin to argue and point fingers, trying to figure out exactly who is to blame for their predicament. All energy and productivity is focused on bickering and assigning fault.
Out of the forest and into the real world… Here, too, we want desperately to classify others as good guy/bad guy, villain/hero, and right/wrong when problems come up. Often, we cast ourselves in the role of helpless victim or innocent bystander, blaming those around us for everything that happens.
It is exhausting to blame others. Doing so takes us out of our power. It puts us in the position of having to wait for them to change their ways/admit their faults/apologize/whatever. And that is a game we will never win.
Do any of the following thoughts sound familiar?
“I’m overweight because my mom taught me poor eating habits.”
“My life is miserable because my boss is an a-hole.”
“We can’t save money because my husband had to buy that boat.”
Well, those are great stories, but not really all that useful. Notice how that thinking is very one-sided, leaving me completely powerless to change anything. If I take no ownership, I will forever be waiting for my problems to be “fixed” by others. Bummer of an existence dude. This may come as a surprise to some, but everyone else isn’t sitting around trying to figure out how to fix you or make you happy. That’s your job.
So, what is the most empowering thing you can do? Mind your business. That is, look inside yourself for changes that need to be made and alter the language in your own head:
“I can see where I had a part in _______.”
“I accept responsibility for ______.”
“I will do ________ to fix my situation.”
“This is where I am; what can I do from here?”
Being a powerful person has nothing to do with controlling others and everything to do with taking charge of your own thoughts and actions.
Are you caught up in playing the Blame Game? Exit quickly and take your power back. Mind your business only, and let others mind theirs. As in the movie, I think you’ll find that in the end no single person is to blame for the issues we face in life. There are no black and white answers or good and evil people. Just people. (And maybe giants.) We all have light and darkness within us and we are all in this together. I’m at peace when I believe that everyone, at any given moment, is only doing the best they can with what they know. Life is much easier and more enjoyable when you focus on being your own hero and let others write their stories their way.