Looking Back

Hindsight is 20-20, right?

Except when it's not.

Have you ever engaged in the little game of second guessing yourself?  Of looking back and trying to rearrange things so that if only you'd said this and if only you'd done that, then things would have turned out so differently?

Or how about when you look back and think, how did I miss the signs?  They're so clear to me now!  There were red flags all over the place, and I missed them!

Of course, this is an excellent way to continue to take the blame for everything that has gone wrong in your life.  It's your fault that things didn't work out.  It's your fault that you got into that situation in the first place.

Except when it's not.  Which actually happens fairly often.  Lots of things are Not Our Fault, and yet we'd rather take the blame.  We're used to it, we know how to to it, how it works.  And by doing so, we let lots of others off the hook.  They're not accountable.  Only we are.

The other day, I was moaning about having missed the signs pertaining to a Big Thing that Went Awry, mentioning this red flag and that one plus maybe a third, all missed, all my fault.  And the person I was talking with said, "Really?  I don't see that at all.  You couldn't have known that."

And I was completely stopped short.  Really?  I couldn't have known that?  It wasn't my fault for seeing that it was going to go wrong?  

So, lesson learned.  When you look back and gather in the blame for yourself, ask someone else to look back with you.  Sometimes things are your fault, and acknowledging that fault is good and right so to do.   But check out your suspicions with someone you trust and see what happens.  And maybe what is called for then, instead of self-flaggelation, is just letting go.