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In my last post I opened up a can of worms by boldly stating “If your life sucks it’s YOUR fault!” I went on to share specific examples where we regularly make excuses for ourselves to shirk personal responsibility …
If you’re overweight it’s because you eat too much and you don’t exercise enough.
If you’re tired all the time it’s because you don’t take care of your body through proper sleep, hydration, and nutrition.
If you have no luck with relationships it’s because you haven’t figured out the part you have been playing in all the failures.
If you’ve got no money it’s because you spend more than you make or you’re lousy at saving.
If you’re not experiencing success in your career it’s because you haven’t worked hard enough.
If you’re unhappy … if your life sucks … it’s nobody’s fault but your own. Ouch!
Some of you whole-heartedly agreed with my directness and others of you disagreed vehemently. I want to speak to one of the disagreements this week as it was a thought-provoking discussion.
My high school friend Liz sent me this note on Facebook:
“I work in HealthCare. Not a day goes by where I don’t see bad things happening to good people (who do the right things and lead a healthy lifestyle). I don’t doubt that your point is correct…..to a degree. My stance is that it’s not as cut and dried as presented. There is always an exception.”
She went on to share with me a story about Eva, a young woman of 25 who lost her battle with Cystic Fibrosis – a disease she didn’t ask for, that probably made many aspects of her life suck. The disease wasn’t her fault. I absolutely agree with Liz on this point. It’s not fair that some people have to suffer through chronic disease or terminal illness. It sucks that children get abused, spouses get beaten, or people have to suffer on any level through circumstances they didn’t ask for.
So, what’s the answer then?
Yes, it’s true that certain life circumstances suck BIG TIME, but our attitude toward them is what we must then turn to in order to un-suck a situation even a little bit. In our discussion Liz mentioned that Eva’s life sucked in essence because of her disease, but she also mentioned that Eva turned her disease into something wonderful for all to benefit from … creating the best possible outcome for a challenging situation.
So there you go. We can’t control that diseases happen, that people we love die, that mother nature can be vicious, or that violence happens … because that really does suck but that doesn’t mean our lives should suck and that is the point I’m trying to make with my bold statement. I’m trying to help people see that ‘playing the victim’ has no good life outcome except for personal suffering. I’ll bet Liz’s CF patient had a better attitude than many able-bodied, healthy people who complain they have no time, energy or motivation to do what they need to do to ‘really’ be happy.
When it comes to chronic or terminal diseases I’m reminded of the Rick and Dick Hoyt video where the father and son (who is severely physically disabled) run the Iron Man together. It moves me every time I see it. View a version of it here. I can only imagine …
When I see something like this I am reminded that each of us can improve any difficult circumstance if we want it badly enough. I want to help people past the excuses and into the realization that if you want something in your life to change, the best person to bring it about is you. I chose to rattle a few chains in order to get people to pay attention. So ….
What will you do today to change you attitude toward a sucky situation you’re living with? What small step can you take to un-suck that circumstance in the process?
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