The Past is the Past

Recurring issues are the source of a lot of my writings. I see issue with something and then it starts popping up all over the place like dust bunnies, and this post is about the past. Without the past, the psychology industry would have nothing to do. Therapists everywhere would be jobless and broke. So, with trepidation I will proceed down this path as not to increase the country’s jobless rate.

I, myself, have sat on the couch of the therapist’s office ranting about all the wrongs that have been done to me over my past 40-something years of existence. And after many sessions I have come to a revelation about the past. We are all looking for someone to blame. And we should stop. Here’s why.
 
Fault lies in the past. It’s past actions, past occurrences, past behaviors of others that have put us in what we see as an undesirable situation. All of a sudden we are faced with a problem that comes from the depths of Hell. And the first thing we do is scream, “WHO IS AT FAULT??” Whose actions put us in this place of fire and brimstone? Who did this to me???? And we get indignant and we call twenty people to rant and rave about a situation and how wronged we are. We get defensive, we start blaming and then we start typing emails.
 
Stop that.
 
So there we are again, as in the previous blog. ( Remember the red faced seller and your inability to sleep?) Well, we are back in that arena again. Spam. All that precious energy wasted on something that has already happened and you, my friend, have no time machine handy. You can’t go back and change it. Maybe you made a crappy decision, maybe someone else forgot something really important three weeks ago or maybe it is just the way it worked out, but the one thing remains the same – you still have the problem. You then have called twenty people and those twenty told forty more over cocktails and everyone is talking about your (now larger) problem. And face it, it’s fun to call those people and just bitch.
 
We have all made crappy decisions, especially when we were twenty something and there is no going back. So therein lies the truth. We can’t go back. But that is the beauty of it as well. Because it’s GONE. It doesn’t exist anymore. The past is the past.
 
HOWEVER.
That problem from Hell is still looming at you. But you know, after you get over the anger of the fault thing, and you realize that fault is a complete waste of energy, and blame and revenge and all that stuff that goes with fault (because fault has a lot of not-so-nice friends that come along) is also a complete waste of your precious time on earth, you can get back into the driver’s seat of your life and figure out the SOLUTION.
Now there is a huge difference between fault and responsibility. Well-adjusted adults will take the responsibility of their actions and will do their best to find solutions to a problem that their actions created. If you can’t find this responsible adult, then guess what – it’s on you. And this is what good minds come to realize.
Solutions and collaboration will win big every time and the end result will leave everyone feeling validated and uplifted. We seek solutions to make people happy. Those people may be ourselves or others we are trying to help. If we are paid as a problem solver, and most agents are exactly that, then the problems that come up daily have some form of solution and, at the end of the day, fault really never plays a part. And better yet, if we knew the perpetrator of the creation of the problem, 99% of the time it was an honest mistake on their part. Enter empathy and understanding, again, bringing someone up, going to bat for them, and hoping they would do the same for you versus throwing them under the couch with the dust-bunnies.
 
Next time you have some problem come up, change your thinking. Have a paradigm shift. Shift from blame to collaboration. Bring the others in your situation up and offer compassion and understanding. AND SOLVE THE PROBLEM. Unless it’s some heinous crime, fault doesn’t matter. Collaboration and compassion will truly make that difference