You know what’s easy? Criticizing and blaming others for your problems. You know what’s not? Looking objectively at your own role in your interactions with the world.
I should know. I’m relatively intelligent and perceptive – I’m not just saying that, my therapist thinks so too! (Ha!) I’ve always fancied myself as great at communication with others, but lately I’m realizing that I’m TERRIBLE at it. Okay, perhaps that’s a little harsh, but I’m nowhere near where I thought I was. Turns out that simply throwing a lot of words at someone doesn’t count as communicating… who knew?
This, and other truths about the way in which I perceive myself in my relationships, are difficult for me to swallow. Sometimes my therapy sessions feel like a battle of reconciliation between my long-held idea of who I am in my relationships and the uncomfortably spot-on points that my therapist makes as a third-party observer. It literally feels like a war going on inside me as the way I’ve always perceived my interactions tries desperately to hold its ground against the new knowledge that I’m gaining every day.
I say all this because I don’t want you to beat yourself up if you have never owned your shit, if you’re just beginning to own your shit, or if you don’t have the slightest idea how to begin owning your shit. IT’s HARD! Like I said, I am smart, quick to learn, and consider myself relatively self-aware. I’m also very hard on myself. The biggest struggle of all is to accept how much I myself contribute to the dumpster fires in my personal life without totally hating myself in the process.
That’s the trick. Develop a strong sense of self-love and self-worth in order to confront your own issues and the active role you play in your life, or it might tear you up. Accepting responsibility for your decisions is important, but if you find yourself using it to further put yourself down, you’re off the mark. Forgiving yourself for not knowing more in that moment is an essential part of your transition to a healthy awareness in the future.
You can only do your best with what you know at the time. As you gain more knowledge and self-awareness, you’ll do better, but it’s a journey. We all make mistakes, we all fuck up, and we all wish we’d known more – but we can’t change the past. Clinging to regret does you no good.
Owning your shit comes with the prerequisite of learning how to be gentle with yourself as you grow, change and develop clearer awareness. Don’t try to do it all at once. Work on your foundation in yourself so that you can stop blaming and criticizing others, realizing that it accomplishes nothing, and instead look first at where you can shift and change in a situation. You cannot control anyone but you. Instead of throwing your energy all over someone else, use it where it does the most good – right where it lives.
I know it’s a lot. It can be overwhelming. I get overwhelmed too. But we have to start somewhere, and any movement forward is preferable to staying stuck.
You got this. I’ve got your back. Sending you so much love.