You Can Say No to Self-Blame

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

The other day, I had a first hand experience of how self-blame is a choice we can live without. I’m pretty sure that, the “multi-taskers” among you, will understand what I mean. Here it goes.

The Middle School spring concert day was upon us and the girls were going to perform for last time as middle schoolers. Having been there before, I anticipated a certain level of stress for that afternoon. Regardless, I allowed myself to get distracted throughout the day.  As a result, I found myself scrambling to get things done while trying to be, emotionally and physically, available to the girls.

It wasn’t long before I became breathless. I knew my stress level was increasing and I was starting to feel irritated. That was not how I wanted it to be. I stopped to take a few deep breaths and look outside the window.

I reminded myself that this whole whirlwind of activity was the result of choices I’d made earlier.

I knew I could have made different choices during the day, but I hadn’t and I couldn’t change that. At this point, I could give in to self-blame and become even more stressed and irritated, or I could just accept what was and move on. Right then and there, I decided that beating myself over the head would not do it for me.

I knew that if I could only keep my expectations in check, stay calm and focused in the moment, it would all work out. I’m perfectly capable of driving myself crazy by paying attention to details that don’t really matter that much.

I needed to take these precious two minutes to slow down and I did. I also needed to let some balls drop and focus on what was important right then and there. Eventually, it all got done, we arrived at the Middle School with plenty of time to spare, and I was able to relax and enjoy watching my girls perform. It was a great evening.

Self-blame is a choice. What’s the point of going there? Change what you can change and accept what is. Why add additional stress to an already stressful situation?

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