I seriously just caught myself leaving potato chip crumbs in my friend’s bedroom knowing that the kids would be blamed once they were discovered. This is how I know that the “brat” is so alive and well in adults. Unless it’s just me. Is it you too? Have you ever blamed your farts on someone else, or the dog, or the kids? How about your messy house, your inability to call people back, or your general happiness?
The bummer is that blaming someone else or merely walking away from responsibility just doesn’t make us feel good. In my case, it actually makes me feel very anxious. I gave some mundane examples above but this concept is actually very deep. Recently, I stepped down from my role as President of Handel Group® Life Coaching and I was this close to saying it was because I simply couldn’t clean up the messes or mistakes I had made. What a convenient thing to say in order to get out without doing so.
The problem is my conscience couldn’t handle it and I lost a lot of sleep. Thanks to my coach, I realized my only way to end this particular chapter of my career with my head held high, and freely design the next one, is to take care of my crumbs without blaming or waiting for anyone else to do it for me. This means making a list of the things that weren’t working well, telling the truth about them, and changing or fixing them before moving on to the next role. It sounds like the grown up thing to do, right? What’s not so obvious is how good it feels, even to just begin. Because it feels good to stare down the brat and put integrity first; it’s a moment by moment feel-good phenomena. The final result of hitting everything on my list will be a relief I am sure, but right now I am focused on the dignity of the process. And so grateful I get to do it.
Most of us are so uncomfortable with what we are avoiding, we have to eat, drink, sleep or entertain ourselves to excess in order not to face it. These will never ultimately make us happy. Substituting in these types of behaviors is more of the good old-fashioned brat. I wish it worked! We’d all be so happy. Instead, we find truly happy and proud people are doing the hard work of making choices that are in alignment with their highest ideals, moment after moment. Lest you think it’s too hopeless or hard: take heart, life will keep pushing you in this direction whether you like it or not. Heed the call, experiment with cleaning up your crumbs, claiming your farts, calling people back and being fully responsible for your own happiness.
P.S.- If you want to learn how to get back into integrity and reclaim your happiness, register for one of our Design Your Life Weekends.