The other night I watched the documentary, I’m Not Your Guru, which chronicles the life and work of self-improvement coach Tony Robbins. The film, which is currently available on Netflix, captures the gripping, raw moments of Tony’s Superbowl of sorts, a week long self-awareness conference known as Date with Destiny.
In what I consider one of the more insightful moments of the film ( and there are many), Tony explains to a 19 year old girl how her blaming her father for her struggles is actually leaving her powerless and trapped under his influence. Robbins then expounds on how we very rarely, if ever, blame people for the positives they provide us. How we fail to recognize that the hurt people levy upon us actually makes us stronger.
It’s apparent that when we blame people and circumstance for our failings, shortcomings and unhappiness we diminish own own power and provide these outside forces greater control over ourselves.
However, when we play the positive Blame Game, we find new levels of strength and understanding. And though this, we begin to appreciate and love ourselves and others (even those who did us wrong) on new, deeper levels.
So when the positive Blame Game scene ended, I put down the popcorn, picked up the pen and did a little positive blaming exercise myself. Here it is…
- I blame my wife for making me realize that vulnerability is a strength not a weakness.
- I blame my mother for making me sociable. For making me enjoy the company and comfort of others.
- I blame my father for my grit. For muscling through adversity. For not leaving a job until its done and done well.
- I blame my children for my constant desire to play and create. For wanting to escape the trivial trappings of adulthood and fuel my creative engine.
- I blame my brothers for my affinity for camaraderie and brotherhood.
- I blame my former tenant (the one who left my rental property an absolute shit hole) for providing me with some good writing material and a challenge that is conquerable with a little sweat, some elbow grease and a few trips to Home Depot.
- I blame the kid from my high school English who called me a faggot (because I liked to write) for inspiring me to sit down and write as fiercely as I can everyday. I also blame him for my cavalier, not-giving-two-flying fucks attitude about people’s opinions regarding my love of writing.
- I blame my autoimmune disorder for giving my life clarity, direction and purpose.
If you’re feeling a little weak, a little wounded ( and who isn’t) I encourage you to partake in some positive blaming.
Its a quick, powerful exercise that allows you to see the good in people, the good in tough situations. And by doing so, you find new perspectives and uncover a deeper sense of gratitude for your life.
You can’t change your personal history but you can change the way you respond to it. If you’re trapped in a cycle of blaming and it’s leaving you restless, stressed and overwhelmed I highly recommend giving the positive blaming exercise a try.
If you liked this article, checkout…Are you self-compassionate?
Give a listen to my interview with artist Amy R Terlecki on The Power of Creativity Podcast. Amy and I discuss parenthood, why selfishness can be a good thing and how busy people can still find time to be creative.