Ending the Blame Game

17 Jan

I’ve been hearing a lot about blame lately.  It seems to have become a cultural phenomenon that we have to blame someone for everything that happens.  What’s interesting is that we never seem to blame ourselves.  If our finances aren’t right, it’s the economy’s fault or our employer’s fault because they don’t pay us enough money.  If our children aren’t right, it’s the school’s fault or the video game’s fault, or it’s because of the mean kids.  If our health isn’t right, it’s because the doctor didn’t give us the right drugs or the food companies put chemicals in our food that make us sick.  I’m not saying that these things don’t have an effect, but when did we become so powerless that all we do is whine about everything and take no responsibility or action?

My children will tell you that I am all about taking responsibility for our actions and our situation, no matter what the circumstances.  I also believe you can change your circumstances, not by whining and complaining, but through gratitude and affirmation because I’ve seen it work first hand.  Two years ago, we were $32,000 of credit card debt and decided that we needed to fix that.  We faced up to our overspending and curbed it.  We also got hold of two great books, The Good Book by Pam Young and The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.  They gave us the steps to get out of debt, but they also taught us to be grateful for every dollar that came into our lives and every bill we were able to pay.  Since then, we have paid off over $20,000 of our debt and actually have enough in the bank to pay off the rest, but we’re waiting to see what we will owe for our oldest son’s first year of college before we pay off the rest.  Understand that my husband’s salary is not huge and we have over $8,000 of out of pocket medical costs yearly.  We’ve replaced two transmissions and had to buy a van because ours broke down.  I believe that our gratitude for every dollar, especially the unexpected ones, and taking ultimate responsibility for our finances is what helped us dig out.

Speaking of responsibility, this year, now that the finances are under better control, I’ve decided to focus on my health.  For those who don’t know me personally, I am considered obese on the US weight charts.  In the past, I’ve tried Atkins, South Beach and a few other nutty things to get my weight down.  I’ve had some temporary success, but nothing lasting.  I was angry when I found out about all the additives that are in our food, some designed specifically to make us eat more.  I was angry when I found out that the diet industry is not regulated, but the thing I was most angry about was that, although I could blame whoever I wanted, there were two truths I couldn’t escape.  First, no one ever made me buy those programs, books and videos that didn’t work, and second and most importantly, no one (since my childhood) has forced me to take a single bite of food.  The number on the scale is a reflection of my not listening to my body when it was full.  The number is a reflection of my over indulgence, my lack of exercise and my refusal to take care of the only body I have.

So, over the last few months, I’ve changed some things.  I decided to be grateful for the condition of my body because it is a well-tuned machine that tells me exactly how well I’m taking care of it, and we are about to learn some great things.  I’ve learned that adequate sleep is absolutely essential for my weight loss to be permanent.  For me, that means a minimum of 7 hours per night.  I’ve learned that Yoga is my preferred method of exercise because it is gentle on my body and strengthens my mind and spirit while it strengthens my body.  I’ve learned that I can live low carb, gluten free (mostly), and organic (mostly) and be happy because my body feels better with better food.  I’ve learned that I can lose weight, not through the traditional methods of punishing my body with calorie restriction and painful exercise, but by loving the vessel that the Divine gave me to house my soul and treating it accordingly.  It’s a much happier journey and for me, a more successful one. Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, I’m down 11 pounds and counting.  What bugs you most in your life right now?  Take responsibility for it.  Thank the Divine for the opportunity to make it better and look for the happiest way to make it better.  Give it a few months and I’ll bet you see more success that you can imagine too.  If not, don’t blame me!! Have a great day!

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