A man I used to know, who was very influential in my young adult life, used to preach often. One of his favourite sermons, was the one about pointing the finger. He would say ‘Remember when you point the finger there are three pointing back at you.’ I used to watch his hand, in the shape of what I saw as a gun, and I couldn’t fathom what the hell he was banging on about. I heard this sermon 5 or 6 times in my life and each time, I just didn’t get it.
Move forward 25 years and I have passed through many stories, and much blaming. It took me a 12 step program to look at my life and realise the misery I was creating for myself through the actions of others.
As I alluded to before, my parents worked damn hard to provide for their six children. The result of that was that they were seldom physically or emotionally present. I spent a lot of my life pointing the finger and blaming them. I couldn’t see the sacrifices and care that they had for us. I certainly didn’t see that I was choosing to look at the picture in a certain way. I wasn’t contributing to the betterment of the family, I was sitting in my own personal pool of crap and complaining. I was in fact pointing 3 fingers at myself and just like when I listened to the sermon not getting it.
You see, life happens, people do things, decisions are taken and often the reasons are not communicated and left obscure. We humans have an amazing talent to make the actions of others about us. When we get upset, we blame others. When we reach a low point, it’s because of something or someone outside our power. When our hearts are broken, we blame our exes. Now I am not advocating either avoiding responsibility, or taking responsibility for what is or isn’t ours. I am simply asking, next time you get irritated, or upset, can you sit with yourself and trace your actions, can you figure out, how your choices, and your decisions and your interpretations got you to this uncomfortable point? Because lately I have found it very helpful, and even releasing, to look at the fingers pointing at me rather than at someone else.
Stay happy, share your thoughts. You got this.