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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Holmén

From Sh*t to Blooms: Discover the Power of Turning Life’s Challenges Into Opportunities

It was up to me to grow and change

By Deborah Holmen, M.Ed., NBCT, published in The Goodmen Project

Man pointing at the reader
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

So, you’ve been through some shit lately, and you feel like life has decided to be your forever nemesis. You’ve experienced setbacks in work, relationships, or health issues, and you’re done. You’re exhausted trying to think of other ways to get yourself out of the mess you seem to find yourself in; however, there never seems to be an answer except for the person or thing that is causing your pain.

What if I told you there is a very obvious answer to your challenges but one you may never have considered or avoided? It can be seen so easily in nature that it is actually an easier approach than one you’ve been most likely using.

If you want to understand why you have repeated issues in various areas of your life, look closely at what Mother Nature can teach you.

The Psychology of Blaming: Understanding the Motivations Behind Assigning Responsibility

Humans often resort to blaming others when faced with challenges or negative outcomes, seeking to assign responsibility for their situation. This act of blaming can stem from various factors, such as needing to deflect personal accountability, seeking retribution, or coping with frustration or disappointment.

We all have friends or family who seem to repeat mistakes over and over without gaining insight into their behaviors. One of their mantras is, ‘It is always (insert other person or thing’s name here) fault!’

I knew my marriage was failing. It wasn’t just the abuse and emotional manipulation I was enduring — those were obvious. It was the way I felt about myself. I had given all of my power and dignity away. That is not easy for anyone to admit. However, it was a necessary step in realizing I had to change, not my husband.

It was up to me to grow and change. Admitting that I had made various choices in my life that got me to the place I found myself was not easy for me. In fact, most people avoid this critical step of ownership of one's choices.

I had to finally look closely at what I was allowing in my life for MY life to change. Whether he chose to grow and change with me was up to him.

Immediately, when this new perception occurred to me, everything morphed into a new reality that showed me a better life ahead. Although he became more volatile, I became calmer and more in control. I made a plan to get my daughter and me out safely, and it was liberating.

On the other hand, animals, driven by instinctual behaviors honed through evolution, do not engage in the concept of blame as humans do. When faced with adverse circumstances or challenges, animals typically rely on their innate survival instincts and adaptive responses to navigate the situation.

Their actions are guided by primal urges for self-preservation, resource acquisition, and protection from threats rather than assigning fault or culpability to external entities. There is no wasted time mulling over the hurts and travesties they’ve endured. It’s forward action or face death.

Nature’s Lessons in Adversity

Mother Nature has equipped animals with remarkable skills and instincts that enable them to thrive in diverse environments and overcome obstacles without resorting to blame.

Animals exhibit resilience, adaptability, and resourcefulness in the face of adversity, drawing upon their innate abilities to survive and thrive in challenging conditions.

In contrast to human tendencies towards blame and finger-pointing, animals demonstrate a profound sense of self-reliance and introspection when confronted with difficulties. They leverage their instincts, learned behaviors, and environmental cues to assess situations pragmatically and respond effectively to ensure their well-being and survival.

Imagine the time we could gain in our lives if we freed up our brain space for innovation and new perspectives rather than the muddling cycle of grudges we hold so close.

Embracing Self-Reflection Over Blame

As humans observe the stoic resilience and adaptive strategies employed by animals in adversity, they can learn a valuable lesson about the power of self-reflection over blame.

Instead of assigning fault or engaging in accusatory behaviors toward others when faced with challenges, individuals can benefit from adopting a more introspective approach akin to that seen in nature.

By embracing deep self-reflection, individuals can explore their own roles in adverse situations, identify areas for personal growth or improvement, and develop proactive strategies for overcoming obstacles.

This shift towards introspection fosters accountability, self-awareness, and a constructive mindset focused on learning from experiences rather than placing blame on external factors.

In essence, while human tendencies towards blame may offer temporary relief or justification for negative outcomes, adopting a mindset rooted in self-reflection and adaptive responses to life’s design can lead to greater personal growth, resilience, and problem-solving capabilities in the face of adversity.

Deborah’s book, It Takes A Lot of Sh*t to Grow Beautiful Flowers: A Gardener’s Guide to Life, aims to inspire readers to see challenges as opportunities for growth and to cultivate a mindset of resilience and positivity as seen in Nature as a new guiding post. Thanks to one of my followers, Stefanie W., for asking me to write about how Mother Nature handles blame.


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