I was laying in shavasana at the end of a nice yoga class this morning, preparing to settle in for my typically fidgety, ADD attempt at relaxing, when this beautiful, soul stirring song came on. Normally during this time we should be half-conscious and repeating mantras of peace and serenity- but my mantras typically are things such as “I really want a sandwich” or “I hope that fabric isn’t back-ordered” or “I wonder what Rob Pattinson is doing right now“. But today something really strange happened. As I exhaled slowly and let the music whip up some deeper thoughts in me I heard my self say (in my head, not out loud, that would be embarrassing) “It’s not your fault”. Wow, what was that brain? What did you say? Then again I exhaled “it’s not your fault”. It just came to me and it felt so, so nice to repeat that to myself as I lay there still as stone. A little forgiveness, just for me.
Blame is a funny thing. As someone who has always struggled with self esteem issues I tend to blame myself for everything that goes wrong (and not take credit for that which goes right). No matter what the situation is at hand- a frustrated client, a friend giving me the cold shoulder, even illness in myself- my default setting is think up all the reasons why it’s my fault those things are happening or how I must be the reason someone is acting or feeling a certain way. It’s a really tough thing, and I think it’s a very common thing, especially for women, to constantly blame themselves. And it’s a hard habit to break too. You can tell yourself that most likely it’s not your fault that your client is being crabby with you or that guy didn’t call you back, but deep in your gut sits an uncomfortable anxiousness that just maybe it IS you. I don’t think it’s self-centered to feel this way, but rather self-less–because in a small way you are always putting yourself last and not believing that you are a good person deep down.
And sometimes things are your fault and instead of getting angry with yourself, why not try to accept those mistakes as lessons, learn from them as much as possible, and move on. I tend to really harp on mistakes, blaming myself for being stupid, scatter-brained or lazy and wishing with every ounce of my being that I could go back and make a different decision. And then I focus on that wish endlessly. This is a HUGE FREAKING WASTE OF TIME. But we all do it and it’s just another way of blaming ourselves for being human. I have learned that every mistake, bad decision, and shitty time in my life has lead me to a better place. Someday this will sink into my brain and I’ll skip through fields (holding hands with Rob) and finally be free of the burden of self-blame.
I feel a little like today was a step towards a breakthrough- I feel slightly lighter in my heart right now and as I keep going through my day I’m going to just keep saying that to myself. It’s NOT my fault. Life is tough. Everyone has a lot of factors in their lives that make it difficult. I certainly do, so I need to believe that everyone else does and that is what might be affecting their behavior. Just as everyone in this life will make mistakes, big and small, and live through them. As long as I do my best, work hard, be a good friend (to others and myself) then I should be able to relax into the notion that this too shall pass and that everything is NOT my fault.
Just a little Jack Handy-esque “Deep Thought” for you on this Thursday! :) And just for giggles, maybe get yourself or someone else in your life who is going through a tough time, this fabulous .