It May Not Be Your Fault But How You React Is Your Responsibility

No one could have ever predicted the events that would make up 2020 hitherto. When most people made their New Year's resolutions on January 1st, I very much doubt anyone factored in spending two months of the year cooped up at home because of a virus that was considered only China's problem during the 2019 festive season. For most people, this year has been something right out of a nightmare.

When things fail to go the way we expected them to, like 2020, the default reaction for most people is to dwell on the "if only". If only COVID-19 did not keep me and my partner apart for so long, things would have worked out better for us. If only COVID-19 did not cost me my means of income, I would have started that business I have been contemplating on.  If only COVID-19 didn't cause this, then that would have happened, the template goes.

Replace "COVID-19" with anything on that template and you still have the way people react to situations where what they had planned for fails to materialize — by rejecting reality and instead dwelling on what could have been. It always appears like the best option because it seems to be effective at alleviating the weight one would have had to bear if they had accepted that reality, warts and all. In short, it is an escape—or so it seems.

By refusing to accept reality as it is, what we fail to appreciate in the process is that you are causing yourself more suffering by denying yourself the opportunity of learning and adapting to the fact that we are not and are never in total control of our circumstances. Instead of accepting the fact that any and every situation you find yourself in regardless of how inconveniencing or painful it might be, is your reality and where you are at the particular epoch and it is on you to try to do something about it, you will go through life always looking for a scapegoat whenever things do not go your way, creating stagnancy in your character.

Human beings are extremely adaptable creatures and by denying your reality and instead choosing to wail in denial and victimhood, you are suppressing that virtue instead of using it to figure out how to escape that situation you find disconcerting.

The reality of life is that we are not in control of our lives, no matter how much we like to think otherwise. Just like how you cannot control where the sun rises in the morning or how many stars light up in the night sky, you cannot be in control of what happens to you. Life won't be good all the time because you want life to be good all the time. That is not how this thing works. You will never know what hand life deals you. The best, and the only thing you can do really, is to play that hand as best as you possibly can. You might win, you might lose. That is out of your control.

Not everything that happens to you will be your fault but how you choose to react to it is on no one but you. It might not be your fault that a relationship did not work out. It might not be your fault that you got snubbed for that promotion. It might not be your fault that you do not have a healthy relationship with your parents. It might not be your fault that you are not in the right state of mind. All those situations you find yourself in might not be your fault, yes, but the kind of person you become after going through them is on you.

Reality, no matter how undesirable, should never feel like a weight on one's shoulders and something you need to escape from. The moment it does is the same moment you lose the will and zeal to live. The moment it does is the same moment you stop growing in character because you will not be willing to dust yourself off and try to leave that rut. The moment it does is the same moment you stop living and start to just exist.

You are not the first and you most certainly will not be the last person to whom things will suck for. You are not going to get any points for whining about how unfair life has been to you. As a matter of fact, by playing victim, you are just going to find yourself in that undesirable situation for longer. Be it financial, romantic, emotional, or any other distress you might find yourself in, accept the fact that how you react to it is no one's responsibility but yours and then proceed to do something about it.