[Note from Amy: I hope you enjoy a guest post by Master Coach Lin Eleoff. She is a very funny lady and a pretty wicked-talented illustrator (see her original art work below). And she happens to know a few things about a few things. So read her wisdom below and make sure to check out her blog for more good stuff!]

I used to be famous for blaming other people. In fact, it earned me my very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Blame.

It’s her fault!

He promised he would do it for me.

The butler did it.

The trouble with blame is, it doesn’t actually make you feel better. It just prolongs your own self-imposed suffering.

So, why do we blame?

Why are we so determined to find someone or something to blame for the way things turned out in our lives? Why do we think it’s someone else’s responsibility to make us happy? Because somewhere along the line we missed the memo that spelled out who is actually responsible for our very own  happiness.

Um… we are.

Each of us is responsible for every single thing we think, feel, and do, every day of our lives. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood we missed the opportunity to take the reins and take charge. Actually, make that, opportunities. Plural.

AFGO

Each day we face Another F***ing Growth Opportunity, or AFGO. An AFGO is an emotional signal from your body that indicates you are out of alignment: that basically, you’re not happy in that moment.

When you blame someone or something else for your unhappiness, you are abdicating your responsibility for your emotional well-being.

For example, let’s say you’re angry with your husband because you think he is “lazy.” You have amassed all sorts of evidence for this: he doesn’t take out the garbage, he likes to watch TV at night, and he never wants to go out. This “makes” you unhappy. You blame your husband for your unhappiness.

Who’s really making you so unhappy?

And I say, it’s not the husband who is making you unhappy. You are making you unhappy. By hinging your happiness on whether your husband behaves a certain way, according to your Rule Book, Chapter: Husbands.

It’s a recipe for disaster. You cannot change someone else, you know that.

But, but, but….

He’s driving me crazy;

She’s ruining her life;

The sky will fall if I don’t teach him how he should do it!

Only you can make you happy

Here’s the thing: it’s no one’s job to make you happy. Ever. Only you can make you happy. When we “allow” ourselves to be unhappy because other people don’t do the things we want them to do, we have abdicated our responsibility to find a way to be happy in this life.

Happiness is an inside job. No matter what anyone else chooses to do with his or her life, your life is still yours to live, fully and completely and authentically.

If someone isn’t doing something you think they should be doing, by all means have a conversation with them; discuss your concerns, ask them what they’re thinking and try to broker a compromise, if possible. But don’t let the outcome determine how you are going to feel.

Guard your happiness, at all costs. Guard it with your life.

 

Lin Eleoff is a Martha Beck Master Coach and the author behind theworstmother.com. She is the self-proclaimed Smart Ass Coach and her fr*ee ebook, How to be a Smart Ass, Like Me, is available HERE.

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