Alley’s House invited Melissa Clark with Drennan & Associates Christian Counseling to share a story that would resonate with our moms. If you are interested in guest blogging for Alley’s House please contact email@example.com.
Several nights ago I heard a loud crash in my son’s room. Now it’s not really out of the ordinary to hear loud noises coming from his room, but this was about an hour after he went to bed. I found him with a deer in the headlights look. This face reeks of guilt. I asked him what happened.
He let me know a toy was thrown at the wall and a picture was knocked down. Immediately he asked if it was his fault. I couldn’t help but wonder if he was looking for someone or something to blame for his choice to throw a stuffed animal across the room.
Most likely he didn’t want it to be his fault because of the consequences that might have followed.
I let my son know his actions are his responsibility. Nobody made him do it, this was his choice. I empowered him to accept responsibility for his actions.
As adults, I’m curious how often we have the same, “____ made me do it.” Theodore Roosevelt once said “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”
Blaming others may seem like an easy way out. An individual can dodge punishment or consequences. But for each occurrence a blaming behavior occurs, an individual loses personal control.
Each of us has an ability to choose what we think, act, and feel. Realizing this truth offers empowerment to take control of our life. Equally important is understanding we do not have control over what others think, act, and feel. In my counseling practice, I have seen many individuals and couples become stuck in negative patterns because they are trying to control others. The only person we can control over is ourselves.
I’d like to give you a few tools to help take control of your life:
Take responsibility – Learn to accept responsibility for your actions and your actions only. Individuals often facilitate between playing the victim card to taking responsibility for others’ actions. For example, I had a friend once say it wasn’t his fault he got a speeding ticket. He reasoned it was because the police officer was trying to reach his “quota”. Had my friend taken responsibility he would be less likely to get another ticket in the future. Blaming others often keeps a vicious cycle going.
Ask for help – One of the best ways to become successful in life is by asking for help. César Chávez wisely states, “You are never strong enough that you don’t need help”. As a civil rights activist, Chávez understood that one never grows beyond needing assistance from others. Alley’s House offers wonderful resources like mentoring and education to help you move towards reaching your life’s dreams and goals.
Learn from your past – This includes both your past successes and setbacks. History has a funny way of repeating. Learning from the past is a powerful tool towards taking control of your life.
Accept yourself – The truth is we are all on a journey. We are each perfectly imperfect. Accepting yourself for where you are on your journey helps move you towards your goals. Whenever we don’t accept ourselves, we are likely to fall into negative patterns like blaming others. One of my favorite quotes is by Steve Jobs, “the journey is the reward.” Embracing your imperfections is incredibly empowering.
Taking control and responsibility for your life may seem like a scary thing. Even scarier is not having control. An excellent way to take control is by owning your personal choices. The choices we make today help to influence our circumstances tomorrow. Another way to say this, the only way to change your tomorrow is to do something different today.
Melissa Clark currently serves as Director at Drennan & Associates Christian Counseling. Melissa is passionate about helping her clients identify the roadblocks that are keeping them from their true identity and purpose. As a Dallas native, she is passionate about serving her community and the greater metroplex through speaking engagements at schools, churches and local organizations. Recently she launched her own blog at melissacclark.com. Melissa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214 368-7373.