My dad was a loyal and hard working man. He did what he was told, never opposed to anyone. Everyone liked him but not everyone was nice: some people used his weakness that he was not able to say no to anyone.
Growing up as an only child he was everything to me. I remember, my parents had their wedding photo over their bed and sometimes I was just staring at it and was so proud that I have a very handsome dad.
As a teenager like everyone else I became very critical of everything I experienced. One thing that I remember bothered me a lot was his saying: It’s not my fault.
He said it to everything. When the weather was not cooperating on a Sunday when we wanted to go for a hike in the nearby forest or when I fell and I hit my knee and it hurt.
Of course these were not his fault but the same sentence was the reaction for everything else too where he wasn’t at fault but at least he could have taken responsibility.
His default response started to annoy me because it meant that he is taking the easier way out: hands in the air, I can’t do anything!
What it really meant was: I don’t want to do anything, I am not strong enough to change this situation and I am not good enough. I am a victim.
As he got older this behavior got stronger and my mom had to take on more and more f the responsibilities and he became a bitter old man who didn’t really find joy in anything.
Unfortunately he passed away in cancer 5 years ago and he followed this pattern from the beginning of his illness to the end. This is what it is, it is not my fault, I can’t do anything and I’m old enough to die.
I know it is not a happy ending but bare with me because we can learn something from every story.
My dad taught me that we have to take responsibility if we want be happier or survive. Not because he knew it: he lived completely the opposite way. We can’t always say, it’s not my fault or we can but nothing is going to change.
Taking responsibility and owning our problems takes guts. When we say: I created this sh*t I’m in is already halfway to get out of it.
On the short term it’s easier to step to the sidelines of our own life. On the long run it is a sad way to live.
When we start taking responsibility, it comes with setting up boundaries and saying no. Many people won’t like it at all and we are going to loose some “friends” in the process.
It could be a lonely way, comes with tears and hard work as we peel off our layers that our past put on us.
Imagine yourself as an old painting. It was in a locked storage room and suddenly it was discovered by an art collector who knows it is a rare, valuable and unique piece of art. A restaurateur starts working on it carefully and removes of layers of dirt, damage and the original bright colors coming out beautifully, back to the light and life. It is now the amazing masterpiece that was under the layers of past.
You are this masterpiece. Maybe you don’t see it yet and doubt it. The discovery of this masterpiece starts with taking responsibility for who you are and what you do right now in this moment.
When it happens it is going to be the most magical moment of your life. You know why? It’s because you are not a victim anymore and you can start creating your own life.
My dad taught me this important message through his own example. He was doing what he was able to do with the best knowledge he had at that time and I am forever grateful for that. I truly believe it saved my life when I was dealing with my own battle with cancer.
I encourage you to step up, do whatever it takes, be responsible and own your decisions. Life never happens to you, it happens for you! When you stop being the victim your life really starts and could take you to places you could have never imagined whenever you said: It’s not my fault.