Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Blaming Game

Many times over I have heard, friends and people that I love, speak of good things, always with a 'but' at the end of their sentences: 'I had a nice day but...' 'I had a nice vacation but...' 'He's a good boyfriend but...' and it all remind me of the person I once was.

I remember a time when I, myself, used to use blame others and everything I could, in order to justify my reasons. Parents, job, family, partner, friends, children, government, economical situation, heritage, my home, my income, my car, the weather....anything would do, whatever reason I could find in order to take the focus of what the 'real' problem was.

It was a comfortable place to hide, to avoid the truth, a truth that patiently and silently waited for me to finally have the courage to face it.

As a child I never saw myself over 35 years old. Aging has never scared, for me it was a sign that I had survived the tumultuous early years....and as I age I am glad to see that some kind of crazy wisdom is making me company in my early 'old years'. Today I realize that all the blame was just a big waste of time. Blaming others and the circumstances that I've, ironically, many times put myself in, was just a waste of everyone's time.

As I look back and see things much more clear now than I did then, I see that I let fear dictate most of my actions growing up, fear to be alone, fear to be abandoned, fear to have another parent walk away without ever looking back, fear to be hungry again, fear that others could see the life me and my siblings lived and judge or take us away, fear of not having friends, fear of never being happy, fear of not being accepted by who I was...and the list goes on.

Fear had created a whole 'persona' inside and I let it dominate my young years with its loud voice echoing inside.

Blaming others for what I did or for what I didn't was just a way to keep looking at external factors in order to find an explanation for my own unhappiness or frustration. Blaming others didn't change and will never change others, didn't change the fear inside, it didn't make others act or behave differently, it didn't change ME.

In few occasions, I was even successful making others feel guilty or sorry for something they did, but even then I would be 'happy' for a little while and then, like an 'addiction', I had to find something or someone else to blame...However, there was always a little voice inside that would remind me that the cause of my unhappiness was within myself, not outside.

Life has taught me, not too long ago, that I experience and live with the 'monsters' I create with my own hands. That the only way to change the outcome of my experiences is changing myself. Facing my own fears, changing the way I behave, the way I respond to things that happens to me, changing even the circle of people most close to me.

Stopping this belief that the world revolves around me, that I am that important, that everyone else on the planet has it better than I do, learning that all that happens is not, necessarily, personal and direct at me - wow, even as I write this, it sounds so farfetched that someone can think this way - Life has taught me that an honest eye to eye conversation - with myself and others - might not be the easy thing to do when we hurt but it can avoid deep scars and a life of what ifs.

Learning to silence my mind and dealing with my fears one by one, letting them finally rest, having a cold look inside myself and being my own critic, pointing fingers at my own mistakes, behaviors and thoughts, accepting responsibility for what I have done, or not done, then learning to respect other's choices, and walk away when they still have their own lessons to learn, loving and respecting myself first, standing up for my dreams and goals, understanding and forgiving myself.

Learning that forgiveness has a healing power so immense that can transform a life. To say 'I am sorry' and 'I forgive you' has helped me heal my soul and mind. It has taught me that I am capable of making a difference, if not in someone else's life, I most certainly can make a difference in my own life.
N. Cardoso 05/10/2012

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