It seems that every minute I overhear someone complaining, ever-louder, about something. Be it a coworker, the weather, our politicians, or even their own bodies…people just seem to be less satisfied and louder about expressing it.
It’s easy to blame. Harder to change. But blame is just a way of expressing that something is wrong, it doesn’t address or solve the problem.
When you blame your problems on something else, and then do nothing to investigate the cause and enact a change, you have given up your power.
While thumbing through “Boundaries”, I came across this, which I keep going back to:
“You only have the power to change yourself. You can’t change another person. You must see yourself as the problem, not the other person. To see another person as a problem to be fixed is to give that person power over you and your well-being. Because you cannot change another person, you are out of control. The real problem lies in how you are relating to the problem person. You are the one in pain, and only you have the power to fix it.
Many people have found immense relief in the thought that they have no control over another person and that they must focus on changing their reactions to the person. They must refuse to allow that person to affect them. This idea is life changing, the beginning of true self-control.”
A few weeks ago I realized that I was feeling down. The world seemed so chaotic. Every day brought more bad news. My friends and coworkers talked about how horrible these tragic events were. We even dwelled. These problems all seemed so big – what could I possibly do?
I became so overwhelmed that I decided to take a time-out from the news. I needed to censor out the bad stuff until I could get back to feeling like myself again…what good could I do for this troubled world if I was depressed?
After about a week I was feeling much better, refreshed even! Positive. But I got curious and tuned in to NPR…just in time to hear a new shocking story. I actually stopped and gasped; stood there with my mouth gaping open.
I turned the news off and put some music on.
And I’ve mostly kept away from the news since, with the exception of “The Daily Show”.
Of course I’m curious about the rest of the world. And I care about it. But if I’m struggling with taking care of myself (for any reason), how can I be expected to take care of others? Isn’t it actually a good thing that I have acknowledged my needs and am setting limits?
Maybe it’s time for a break from all the shocking stories…especially if you find yourself blaming the world for the way you feel. I’m going to cocoon as much as I need to, until I can see the world for its beauty. The beauty in, through, and despite the chaos.