12 Things to Stop Blaming Yourself For
Too often in life I find myself apologizing for situations or things that, quite frankly, are out of my control. Why? Because I feel like I have to be at fault for something going wrong because I’m technically the one in charge of my own life.
However, as I go through the growing pains of becoming a “real adult,” I’m realizing that the notion that I’m responsible for everything that comes into my life is absolute, total crap. Sometimes there are things we just shouldn’t apologize for.
So now I’m here to say sorry, but I’m not sorry. Because there are just some things in life I can’t control and neither can you. And that’s perfectly OK to admit.
Below are 12 things you shouldn’t fault yourself for — because the sooner you do, the happier you’ll be.
1. Your emotions.
So what if you cry a lot, or are too concerned, or get too passionate about something that matters to you? There’s no such thing as “too much” when it comes to feelings. The sooner we learn that, the more emotionally healthy we’ll be.
2. The way you handle those emotions.
Write out everything you’re thinking in a letter. Slam a door and don’t feel guilty about it. Go for a run and shut off your phone. Do whatever you need to do in order to process what you’re going through — and do it unapologetically. Everyone handles a challenge in their own way.
3. Another person’s rejection.
It’s not your fault that someone doesn’t like your hair, your stance on politics, or the way you carry yourself. That’s their problem. If you’re behaving in a way that’s most authentic to you, that’s all you can do. The right people — the ones who belong in your life — will accept every part of it.
4. Little failures.
And big failures. We’re human, mistakes are in our nature. We forgive others for their indiscretions — it’s time to start extending ourselves the same courtesy.
5. Someone else’s circumstances.
In the iconic romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, a patron that overheard Meg Ryan’s — shall we say satisfying — lunch famously stated, “I’ll have what she’s having.” As lovely as that sentiment is, that isn’t always possible.
Don’t compare your own story to someone else’s story. The personal shame that comes from not having what she or he is having is too much for one soul to manage.
6. Your needs.
Humans are incredibly complex so our necessities are going to be incredibly different. Don’t blame yourself for needing certain components from a relationship or a career that someone else may not feel is necessary. Don’t apologize for knowing what it takes to make you feel fulfilled.
7. Your guilty pleasures.
If watching The Bachelorette with a giant container of Pad Thai is your thing, there’s no shame in that. It’s also perfectly acceptable to enjoy going to happy hour, or dating around, or meditating every night. You like what you like — embrace it, don’t hide it.
8. Being terrible at something.
Some of us were born with the ability to craft the heck out of an antique coffee table, others burn themselves with a hot glue gun. Life is a series of trials and errors. You have your own unique gifts to offer the world that are different from someone else’s.
9. Putting yourself before anyone else.
The relationship you have with your own heart, mind and soul is the most important relationship you can have. There’s nothing wrong with being a little selfish when the time calls for it.
10. Trusting someone you shouldn’t have.
Feeling burned or betrayed by someone can swallow you whole. But their actions are their own and have nothing to do with you.
People are flawed. Sometimes those flaws show up in the beginning, sometimes they don’t reveal themselves until years down the line. If we kept walls up every single time we met someone to protect ourselves from getting hurt, we’d live a life of sheer loneliness — and there’s nothing worse than that.
11. A terminated relationship.
Some people aren’t meant to stay in our lives beyond the lessons they’ve taught us. It’s as simple as that.
12. Anything that happened in the past.
Ruminating on the past is like waking up every morning and consciously putting on a puka-shell necklace or some other hideous fashion trend that belongs back in an earlier decade. You have the power to make a deliberate choice to live in the now. Any event, negative or otherwise, belongs in the time period which it occurred. The only direction you can move in is forward — and that’s a really beautiful thing.