One of my favorite home videos is of my little sister, Alexa, when she was about three years old. She is standing in front of a white wall with a red marker masterpiece on it that she has obviously drawn herself. From behind the camera, my mom is asking her who is responsible.
Well, my sister has every answer in the book, starting with the usuals: mom and dad, followed by yiayia and pappou. Then come the out-of-left-field answers: our great-aunt, our cousin’s wife, and even our other little sister (who was a newborn at the time).
It has to be one of my favorite home videos of all time. It’s so comical.
You know what’s not as comical? When you’re 23 and you find yourself doing the same thing.
For example, this week I’ve just been in a horrible mood, and I’ve found so many people to blame.
A family member.
A guy at the gym.
Someone I passed in the street.
(Seriously, these are all people that I’ve blamed).
It gets just as ridiculous as Alexa blaming her artwork on a newborn child.
It’s all too easy to fall into a pattern where I blame everyone else for the way that I am feeling, for my actions, and for my behaviors.
What I often forget when I find myself in a place like this is that, no matter the situation, I am in charge. And if I’m going to take charge of my reactions, then I have to live with the blame also.
Of course, there are circumstances around us that are beyond our control, but what is within our control is how we respond to them. So sometimes when something that someone says bothers me, I have to be aware that what they are saying is bothering me because of something inside me. What makes me react negatively is not exactly what has happened, but things that have happened to me that make me upset.
So, no, I wasn’t actually mad at any of these people. No one did anything specifically to hurt me or to anger me, but because of the mood that I was in, everything bothered me. As much as I’d like to place the blame on anyone else, I know that the blame is my own.
Where does this leave me? Well, it leaves me more dependent on Christ for one. Dependent on the fact that He will take care of me and lead me out of the depths of whatever sadness I find myself in. Dependent on the fact that He is constantly at work in my life, working on making me a more well-rounded person, someone who is more like Him.
I mean, the video would have been much less funny had my sister taken credit for her artwork. But at the expense of humor, taking the blame is something that we all need to work on.
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Maria is the Administrative Coordinator of Y2AM. She is a New York native who isn't completely sold on the city's charm, yet has never left. A proud graduate of Fordham University and occasional runner, she is happiest whenever chocolate, a sale, or a good Gilmore Girls reference is involved.