Wednesday, April 8, 2009


"The last of the human freedoms is to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."
- Victor Frankl, Holocaust survivor, and author
of "Man's Search For Meaning."

The opposite of blame is responsibility. This is where suffering turns into growth, anger turns into peace, pain turns into acceptance, and where playing victim turns into reacting as a survivor.

So many of us have been conditioned in our families and communities to blame others when we are upset. This message is then reinforced by constantly by our culture, by the media, even by the legal system. But in my experience, this deterred focus is a one-way ticket to being depressed, stressed, and consistently losing friends and partners. It just doesn't have to be this hard.

Taking responsibility means you take back your power. You acknowledge the role you have had in every disaster in your life, and think critically about ways to change. It means you stop repeating the same vicious cycles of pain/hurt in your relationships that you have been perpetuating for years. And it means you take action to protect yourself and others from continuing to be hurt. To put it another way, it is the beginning of the end for suffering.

Don't believe me? Read the quote above. If a man who survived a concentration camp in Germany can take responsibility for his attitude, then so can you. Still don't believe me? Then try reading the work of Byron Katie, Nelson Mandela, or even Tina Turner. All consistently put forward the message that NO ONE or nothing outside yourself can bring you down. They can hurt your body, they can deprive of you of food and water, but NO ONE can break your spirit unless you allow them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a nice blog, uplifting and definitely needed in today's internet! so many people on their paths of personal growth and awareness - i hope they find it!!

By the way I meant to read: Man's Search For Meaning. by Victor Frank, but got distracted, thank you for the reminder!

I did read Night by Elie Wiesel, that is an amazing story also!