I read the phrase “I couldn’t help myself” the other day in an article I was reading, and it got me thinking. I tend to be one of those people who always hold others accountable for their actions and I put all the blame on them. My boyfriend is the opposite. He can see them for the human being that they are and often tells me they couldn’t help it; they are who they are.
It’s a Mindset
I don’t fully understand how he is able to accept the bad behavior of others so easily and without judgment, but I would love to be like that. Perhaps it’s because he comes from an addictive mindset and truly understands what it feels like to do things you don’t really want to do. I feel so strongly when someone does something that I do not like that it is hard for me to see them a flawed human and not some evil monster.
But then again, it’s easier for me to accept my behavior when I do something I don’t want to. I guess it is a case of “I couldn’t help myself.” Not that I don’t hold myself accountable or get frustrated that I couldn’t stay on that diet or not send that email, but it’s easier than judging someone else’s actions.
Compassion and Love are the Key
I think it’s about compassion and love, not just for the other person but yourself. When we operate from a place of self-compassion and self-love, we are much more accepting of others and can let stuff go.
Cultivating self-love and compassion is not easy. I have been working on it for many years, and sometimes I still falter; I can’t help myself. I use various meditation techniques and daily mantras to strengthen this muscle, but it’s still hard some days.
The sad, hard truth is when you hold onto these resentments, they only hurt you. They never actually affect the other person. So, it’s pointless to keep on hating, blaming, and storing up all this hurt. It’s best to let it go.
Awareness is the First Step
Judging others is a problem for me, and I don’t want to do it. But I am grateful that this statement (I couldn’t help myself) got me thinking differently. If someone really couldn’t help themselves, then who am I to blame or judge them for it? Seeing it that way makes it so much easier to let go of blame and anger.
Awareness is critical to being able to change something. A line from my relationships book is, “You can’t fix what you can’t see.” It’s so true! You must first be able to see your true thoughts and actions, then you can start forging new patterns of behavior to change them.
We are all on a path, and life is a journey with bumps in the road, some successes, and some failures. The most important thing is that we don’t give up and keep trying even if we fail sometimes.
Good luck to you, my fellow human.