As we know, people make mistakes. Frequently. It is simply a part of the human condition. Now, how people handle their mistakes can vary greatly. Sometimes people own it. Sometimes people don’t. Sometimes people lie about it. And sometimes people try to make someone else feel responsible for it.
Owning your behavior is key. It is essential. It is the one sure fire way to have people trust you. When you don’t own your it, however, or when you lie about it or place the blame elsewhere, it simply causes others to stop trusting you. It causes great discomfort in others, especially if you are placing the ownership of your behavior on them. Because there is simply no way someone else can own YOUR behavior. It’s just not possible. They are not inside your body. They are not inside your head. They do not control what your limbs do. They do not control what comes out of your mouth. All of that is all on you.
Now, this is not to say that someone else’s behavior (or lack thereof) is never a catalyst to YOUR behavior. That would be a ridiculous and totally false statement. We react to others all the time. And I mean ALL. THE. TIME. It would be impossible not to. Life is all about relationships and how we interact with ourselves, with others, and with the world around us.
But imagine for a second if the world was full of people that not only said they were going to do something, but then did it. Or at least tried to do it. Imagine if people took ownership for the words out of their mouths and simply owned it. They didn’t look to seek how someone else caused them to say it. Or think it. Or do it. They just own it.
It’s like the abusive partner that says, “I wouldn’t have hit you if you would have just had dinner ready.” That’s simply absurd. The partner hits due to his/her lack of control. Nobody picked up his/her hand and forced the hit. Nobody “made them” do it. They took the situation which had caused them some sort of angst or discomfort and worked to remedy it in the only way they can…by placing the blame on someone else. That’s messed up.
Here’s the deal. We are each responsible for our own behaviors and for our own state of being. Nobody controls your body but you. Nobody controls your happiness but you. Nobody controls your sadness but you. Nobody.
Although our lives constantly intersect with others, we are kind of this alone a great deal of the time. We are left with a constant running dialogue in our heads which is often not nice, not pleasant, and maybe even a bit nasty. Nobody hears these internal conversations but you. And nobody knows there going on until you tell them. But it’s important to remember that this is happening to everybody else, not just you.
At the end of the day, the message here is to remember that we are all working to understand ourselves and how we fit into the world. We all have a completely private internal world in our heads that may or may not be accurate. And while there are of course bad people out there, it seems that most people are simply doing the best they can. They are trying to get their needs met, often unsuccessfully which causes increased pain and distress. That’s no fun for anyone. And it’s just easier to blame other people than to own the fact that our state of mind, our state of being is all on us.
So I encourage you to look at your behavior and look at your train of thought when things go wrong. Do you own your stuff or are you constantly looking for someone to own it for you? If the second is true, you will be hard-pressed to ever find true happiness because it will always belong to someone else. And I believe that you, yes YOU deserve to be in control of you own happiness and that you truly do have the power to do so.