Life doesn’t happen to you. It happens for you. If you’re wondering why your life is in the shape that it is, it’s most likely that you’re waiting for it to happen and you’re blaming someone or something because it’s not.

Always in defense mode, you’re creating excuses or reasons as to why your life isn’t the way you want it to be. “I’ll be happy when ___.” The blank is always filled in with something that is seemingly out of reach, and beyond your control. By filling in the blank, you are blaming someone or something else for keeping you from being happy.

It’s tough, to be honest with yourself, and accept responsibility for the life you’re living. It’s much easier to find external blame instead of questioning the internal reality that feels warm and safe.

Blame is sometimes comfortable in the short term but always toxic in the long term.

I could’ve blamed my father for the problems in my life. Sexual abuse is confusing and painful (both mentally and physically) and something I don’t think anyone can ever truly get over. What he did to my body when I was a child was disgusting. But what he does to my mind, is always up to me and only disgusting if I allow it.

My insecurities, addictions and poor mental health could’ve been blamed on the abuse I endured. Consciously, or unconsciously I could have spent the rest of my life using the pain from my abuse as my way out of a painful life.

But it isn’t.

That was the past, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t change it.

I appreciate everything that happened in my past. If it never happened, I would not be who I am today.

No matter how you look at it, when you try and rectify the past, you are placing blame. It doesn’t matter what happens to you. It matters how you appreciate the experience and resist playing the blame game. When you’re in the blame game, you’ll always lose.


Here are some fundamentals of life that helped me stay away from the blame game and allowed me to understand who I am:

I avoid “Negative Nancies” and “Debbie Downers”

People who always see the negative in life are typically those who live in blame. They are always looking for an audience in which to be heard that will validate their miserable reality. It’s always someone else’s fault.

We are the average of the top five people we associate with. I can’t afford to have any negative people in my life to weigh down my average.

I forgive and understand

If you can’t forgive, then you can’t heal. Forgiveness does not entail forgetting. We can’t learn if we forget. But we always learn if we forgive and understand who this person is. Once I forgave my father for his actions on me, I understood that he too was a man in pain. He chose a different path to run from the pain, and for that reason alone, I’ll never forget what he had done.

My past is the only thing that can’t be changed

Like I’ve mentioned before. Our past is the one thing in life that can never be changed. Like death, our past is the other permanent to life. And it could be said that your past is your life dying. It’s just a death that you can remember.

The actions from my painful past are already dead. I might as well focus on living before they end up killing what’s left of my life.

I accept responsibility for my environment

Your environment is the surroundings that you’ve chosen to lay claim to. The people you associate with, the things you “own,” the job you work at, the income you take home, and the city you live in are all some of the choices that you’ve made.

So, in light of those choices, You’re solely responsible for the energy and life that makes up your reality. My reality is my created environment. Life doesn’t happen to me. It’s happening for me, simply because of the environment that I’ve created.

Blame is the ultimate life hack for those who don’t want to live. It quickly fills in the blanks left empty from the opportunities that you could be living. Opportunities that could leave you living emotionally pain-free and appreciating the past that you’ve already lived. Most importantly, a life without blame is a life without shame.

Is your life happening to you? Or is it happening for you? You don’t need to answer either question, you already know.


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4 comments

  1. Jeff, I read this blog last night and have been thinking about it since. Thank you for sharing what you did to help with your healing and growth. I’m sure even with all of the coping and resiliency skills you have focused on and worked so hard at sustaining , all it takes is hearing of someone taking advantage of a young woman through using their trusting authoritative or even mentor ship role for their own self serving needs and committing a crime by sexually assaulting them can be a trigger for you. I believe a sexual perpetrator knows exactly what they are doing and calculates their moves through grooming and gas lighting. The example of this happens in yoga where the male teacher self proclaims to liberate and be able to “heal” or “fix” the young woman who is taking his class. One class it is just him and her, and he uses his “authoritative power” and proceeds to take off all his clothes and inappropriately touch the young woman without her consent all the while stating for the young woman to be open to it as it can be liberating. Anyone who does that is both deranged and disgusting and needs to be held accountable. Sexual perpetrators don’t see themselves as such and will actually blame the victim for ruining their life when charges are laid. I believe it’s the sexual predators who play the blame game and manipulate others to believe them. It is the survivors of sexual assault who need a voice. Every person deserves a safe place to work and exercise.
    – research on PTSD shows that 92% of women who are sexually assaulted develop PTSD. I included some current statistics http://sacha.ca/resources/statistics

    Thank you Jeff for honouring your voice and sharing,
    Kindness,
    Karen

    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Karen. Yes, it can be a trigger for me, but I have learned over the years to resist any form of reaction until I hear all facts from all the parties before I take any form of action. It’s not easy sometimes, but just because someone has been accused, it doesn’t mean they are guilty. The truth ALWAYS reveals itself, but sometimes it takes its time and my triggering/reaction will not expedite the process.

  2. Thank you for your reply and your honesty Jeff. Where I struggle with this is the length of time the process takes where the facts are revealed by the police and charges are laid if they are laid. So many times the victim gets scared, feels unworthy, or is so completely engrossed in her own pain she doesn’t have the strength to take it on. Unfortunately to get to the facts from the outside it seems the victim is the one who needs to prove what was done to her meanwhile the perpetrator can continue on and embark in more destructive behaviours at what cost to others. From the stats out of 1000 sexual assaults, 997 predators go free. Disgusting and scary. Sexual perpetrators see no wrong in their actions and use their skill of manipulation to distort the thinking of others. It’s wrong. Actions where one person takes advantage and compromises the integrity of another person for their own self serving needs is just plain inhumane and I believe they need to be held accountable for it and I believe it needs to be known so others can protect themselves and stay aware and observant of the manipulative words and actions. Hopefully soon the young woman will be brave enough to let everyone know the full story of her sexual assault and who it was done by. I hope you are right in that the truth always reveals itself. I’m counting on it. I also hope who did not act out of ethic nor integrity gets revealed as well. Time will reveal and heal.

    Kindness,
    Karen.

    1. It took 20 years for my truth to come out. A victim has nothing to prove to anyone when it comes to their healing -NOTHING! When a victim ties their healing to the guilty plea of the predator, they will always lose. Yes, I agree. Sexual predators are disgusting and destructive, they are mentally sick and often are victims themselves. Victims who could never heal for whatever reason. I understand the justice system is flawed, my family and I have been through it all. My aunt who was caught filming her nude granddaughter showering was tried in a court and sentenced to 3 years in jail 1.5 years ago. She is now out on day passes. Where is the justice in that? In my case, my father all but confessed on tape, and the crown wouldn’t pick up my case. There is not enough justice that will deter or correct the damage that these predators do, so to tie any semblance of healing to the result of justice is a grave mistake. If we focus all of our attention to seeking justice, then that is attention that could have been better spent on victims -victims who could turn into predators themselves. To destroy the sickos, we have to heal the sick. Had I spent my lifetime seeking justice from my abuser, today, I would still be mentally and physically sick… most likely I’d be dead.

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