Whom can I blame for this?
"Clearly there was something wrong with his mechanics...the problem, like most problems in life, probably had to do with his footwork." The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
When things go wrong, where do you assign blame?
In your life do you have an archetypal villain who is the cause of your troubles? A boss, spouse, sibling, or neighbor?
Perhaps you have really bad "luck" and your "karma" is catching up to your previous moral infractions.
Or maybe "The Universe" is conspiring against you.
When life feels broken, these are tempting excuses.
(Of course, if you come from a Judeo-Christian background, you know the world truly IS broken, but that's a different post!)
Assigning blame to ourselves is not as easy.
It's hard to identify where the "mechanics" in our life are falling short. I love the quote above because it describes a baseball player who takes every setback as a reflection on how well he's executing the best version of himself.
In the novel this character consistently returns to the fundamentals of his game, takes responsibility for his growth, and UN-complicates his next steps.
I don't know about you, but sometimes I get so far into the "story" of what's wrong that I lose the wisdom of the fundamentals. Most of the time my problems aren't as complicated as I think. Virtually every situation in my life improves if I get back to the proper "footwork." Namely,
Kindness. Patience. Communication. Thoughtfulness. Gentleness. Joy. Love.
These aren't easy qualities to obtain, but they are the word picture for proper footwork.
If I remember to do the basics well, life is decidedly more peaceful.