"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." Brother David Steindl-Rast

Monday, January 30, 2017

Fault

Today I am grateful for sunshine yesterday and a nice pace to the day. I am also grateful for the smell of a good meal as it is prepared.

FAULT is a loaded word. Stick with me and I will bring it around to gratitude. There are many definitions for fault, but I want to focus on these: an unattractive or unsatisfactory feature in a person's character; responsibility for something such as an accident or misfortune.

We all have character faults. I am impatient, perfectionistic, and overly efficient among other flaws. My ego has trouble staying properly proportioned. I can think I know it all one moment and try to impress that upon others without even realizing that is what I am doing, or I can feel like a failure and a misfit in another moment.

Accepting my own and other people's faults is hit or miss for me. It depends on my relationship to the other person, as well as my own frame of mind. I can tell you unequivocally, however, that I accept everyone better when I am in a grateful mindset. From myself to my husband, to a co-worker or the store clerk who is really slow when I am in a hurry.

Then there is the fault that has to do with placing blame, finger-pointing at the responsible party when a problem arises or something difficult happens. I have to hop up on my soapbox for a brief rant on this one.

I believe one of our society's biggest crutches right now is that it has become common to do so much finger-pointing and blaming of others that we render ourselves helpless at times. If it is always someone else's fault, action isn't required on my part. I am the victim. Someone else screwed up. They need to fix it.

If that is your expectation, you stay stuck, the problem stays a problem, your energy is wasted, and you develop tunnel vision. And when I say you, I mean me too. We all end up here from time to time.

My goal is to not stay there for long. That is not a fun place to exist. There isn't much positive contribution going on. The tunnel darkens and narrows.

The sooner I return to pausing, seeing what I have to be grateful for, and moving to a solution focus, the sooner I stop contaminating and start contributing. Even in difficult times, when I look for gratitude I can find it.

Instead of laying fault on myself or others and weighing us all down, I consider what I need to do and proceed. That is my goal. Gratitude practice makes it more plausible and possible.

2 comments:

  1. This is so true. Gratitude makes it possible to own the appropriate responsibility. well said Lisa.

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  2. Thanks Steve! If each person owns his/her appropriate responsibility, think of the difference it could make and the compassionate healing that could happen. Onward!

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