02 Jan Who’s to blame?: A Rightly Pointed Finger
If you’re not to blame, then who is?
During the course of my journey to discovering personal liberation and freedom I have stumbled upon what I call compartments of my heart. When I talk to clients, many times they will hear me tell them that they are compartmentalizing their feelings. Confused, they stare at me. Rather than ask, “What the hell are you talking about?” they simply say, “No that’s not it.” This is where I realize I have not done a very good job of explaining my consulting jargon. Rewinding I explain to them that 100%, yes 100% of all humans have a deeply intricate filing system where emotions and life experiences are stored.
At some point, mid way through life, when the compartment is overflowing, they find themselves blowing down the road doing 125 in their hot off the lot sports car with their top down. Next to them is a 20-year-old Barbie riding shotgun and a stack of divorce papers flying out of the back seat. This is were they ask the question, “What the hell is going on with my life?” Looking in the review mirror they see the fading picture of their ex-wife trailing behind them in a set of curlers, screaming at the top of her lungs, “He didn’t share his heart with me and he won’t with you, you dirty hussy!”
It’s called the classic mid-life crisis and it could have been avoided had the excess paper work been done and properly filed in the “I’ve faced this issue head-on” bin. Unfortunately, for most, the majority of life’s paperwork is thrown in the “No big deal I let it go, it’s water under the bridge” bin. By the way, that bridge always gets swept away at some point because the stream it was built to cross is now a river with rapids.
Needless to say I’m Indiana Jones when it comes to exploring the compartments of my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I really want a sports car, but I already have a smokin hot wife. When I purchase the car, I want it to come with the wife I already have rather than a baby I have to change diapers for. Because I value my marriage as the first most important relationship, right next to the relationship that I have with myself, I am willing to do anything to see that succeed.
One of my many talents is filmmaking. I went to college and received a BA in it. Having the mind of a storyteller it’s easy for me to look at current life decisions sitting before me and see how my current choices will unfold, much like a movie. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. I’ve watched other marriages. I’ve watched other people’s life choices. I’ve seen the affects that it has yielded. I’ve applied other’s decisions to my own life and seen how easily the movie of my life would yield the same results if I choose to apply the same insane choices that others are choosing.
I’ve spent years digging intensely within myself. I’ve purposely faced the greatest fears that kept me running on a never-ending hamster wheel. Though we all change, drastic change is not something we easily or randomly fall into. I’ve ran into people from high school and many of them are the same old Johns and Marys that I knew back then. Well, except of course for the fifty to eighty pounds of weight they’ve gained, their three kids, a mortgaged house that they will be paying on for another twenty years, debt up to their ears, and they’re on their second or third marriage. Ultimately, drastic change is deliberate and purposeful. It’s done with tenacity and at all cost. It’s exhausting and scary. I would say it’s much like taking out a large loan on a start up business. Sure the cost looks great, but if you properly follow through with the business plan, the return you will yield is immense and well worth the initial investment.
Let me lay this movie out plain and simple. I’ll direct this at men, but this applies to women as well. Your wife is unhappy, you are unhappy. Your kids become unhappy feeling the tension in the home, the whole home is unhappy. You become tired and exhausted when you’re around your family so you dread going home. You go to work unhappy; you react to work with this attitude. If you’re the boss, you take the punches out on your employees that you couldn’t or didn’t take out on your family. The work place feels your intensity, they are coming to work with their own intensity, and the work place now has become shit. You dread going home, you dread going to work. You take your aggression to the golf course. After golfing an average of four over par and making a boomerang out of your $2,000 Maruman Majesty Vanquish Driver, you trudge home swearing that golf is a dead man’s game and you’ll never return to that coffin.
Your wife is nothing more than a long term roommate that you can’t stand putting up with, your kids remind you of Chucky the evil killer doll, your employees suck, and your stupid driver cost you the game. Life is the problem not you… WRONG! Turn the finger 180 degrees. You can never change the outer circumstances. That’s called control and control is an illusion. If you want answers to the reason life told you to go make a crappy glass of lemonade, it begins with YOU. YOU are the source. YOU are the only thing that YOU can change. How do you change you? Look within. Somewhere deep inside is a broken angry child who still believes they’re not enough, they’re bad, they’re going to get in trouble, or they have to work for the love they get. Somewhere within is a kid still fighting the bully on the playground, still watching mom and dad play dodge ball with the dishes, still trying to get someone’s attention, still running from the monster under the bed, running on an endless wheel driven by fear.
My challenge for you today is this. If you have any part of your life that seems out of control, messy, or just not the way you want it to be, ask who’s fault that is. If the finger is pointing at circumstances or people, now’s the moment to turn the finger 180 and ask, “What’s my role and what can I do about it?” Be willing to look and hear and answer, you’ll be surprised at how wise you just might be.