It’s Not You, It’s Me

September 21, 2015 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

There was a time in my life when I believed that every boss that I had was terrible.  One boss might be too passive.  Another might be too aggressive.  They were all less qualified than me to lead.  I often found myself wondering why I wasn’t the leader.  These guys were not good leaders.  I, on the other hand, was a great leader, and I couldn’t understand why I was always getting stuck with sub-par leaders.

It wasn’t that these guys were all the same kind of leaders.  They were very different in their personalities, leadership styles, ages, well, everything.  The one characteristic that they had in common was that they weren’t very good leaders.  I didn’t feel like that they respected me enough and were not being the kind of leader that I needed.

Then it dawned on me one day.  There is one primary factor that all of these relationships had in common that I had not really considered.  That common factor was me.  They were all different with different personalities and approaches, but I was the one constant.  Then it hit me.  What if the reason why these work relationship weren’t great wasn’t their fault at all?  What if it were me?

That seems rather obvious in hindsight.  Of course it was me.  I was selfish, prideful and immature.  It was impossible to lead me well, because I was a terrible follower.  My pride prevented me from being led.  Great men tried a lot of different ways to lead me, but no matter what they tried, I was critical and prideful.  I thought that I had it all together and they didn’t, when the reality was the exact opposite.

But what is obvious in hindsight, I was incredibly blinded to at the time.  I couldn’t see outside myself.  I was unwilling and unable to see what I was doing to make this a problem.  My eyes could only see the faults in other people and I couldn’t see the glaring faults that I had.  Hmm, there’s a verse about that somewhere:

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:3-5

I couldn’t see them clearly because of the giant log in my own eye, but I couldn’t see or comprehend that there was a giant log in my own eye.  My thinking had gotten so crazy that I began to believe that there was some conspiracy against me, either created by God or people.  I didn’t know which.  I went to crazy lengths to justify and explain why it seemed everyone around me was wrong and I was right.

Sound familiar? I know that you don’t want it to sound familiar, but it is.  We find ourselves in situations where we believe that a large group of people are against us or failing us in some way.  We have our own conspiracy theories.  Why do I only attract jerks in dating relationships?  Why do none of my kids listen to me?  Why are all my friends so mean to me?  Why is everyone I know an idiot?  You begin to view yourself as a victim, the only sane person in a crazy world.

However, the common denominator in all your dysfunctional relationships is you.  That may sound overly harsh, but it is true.  If you always are attracting the wrong kind of person in dating relationships, there is something wrong with your sensors.  If none of your kids are listening, there’s a problem with your approach to your kids.

The last diagnosis (that it’s my fault) that we will consider in why our relationships aren’t going well needs to become our first.  What can I do differently?  Maybe I am the one who is unhealthy and needs to make some changes.  While I strongly encourage you to share this post on social media, please don’t tag anyone else.  Resist the urge to think about how someone that you love needs to read this so that they will change, but consider instead that this is for you.

So what do you need to do?  The primary action item for you is to get right with God spiritually.  Make sure that the most important relationship in your life is healthy.  When that relationship is healthy, we have the energy that we need to work on the other relationships in our lives.  When it isn’t healthy, we become demanding and prideful and began to ask more from other people than we are willing and able to give ourselves.

Then when that relationship is solid, ask God to help you become emotionally healthy.  Ask him to heal the hurts that you have and to make you whole again.  What he will do is heal you and then point out for you the areas in which you need to grow and develop.

You’ll then be pleasantly surprised how your attitude about the broken relationships in your life change and the energy that you have to love and serve people around you.  God will heal those relationships in your life, because you humbly allowed him to heal you first.  That begins with a humble admission that, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

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