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  • Jane Wheeler

Hook, Line and Sinker

Ever meet those people who blame everyone else for their problems? I am sure when you read this, some name pops right into your head. (hopefully it is not mine)

I have been one of those people who, before I got some counselling and started reading copious amounts of books, talking to others, and maturing, I blamed my life problems on lots of other things and people but rarely on myself.

Statements like:

“you made me….” “well if they hadn’t….” “see what you made me do…” are all lies. That is correct – they are all lies.

No one can “make you” do anything that you do not wish to do. Oh, I have the ability to get on peoples nerves, and I have the ability to make people frustrated, exasperated and plain fed up. BUT they, the other people, have the decision of how they will react to me. You see the ONLY thing we can control is “us” aka: me. No one can react for you.

The cool thing is there really are a lot of choices.

  1. Walk away

  2. Send me away

  3. Talk it out

  4. Get some help

  5. Ignore me

  6. Many more options...

My husband, God bless him, loves to bait me. He waits for the exact opportunity to give me a line or a phrase that he knows will absolutely make me go crazy, roll my eyes, rant unceasingly or walk away. He will wait for a while as I react to his perfect plan and then mutter something like: “I just baited the hook, you took it,” and laugh unmercifully. He is right. Oh, he is a brat of epic proportions at times, but I took the bait. It was my choice to bite that hook and react.

Having Brian around for the past 13 years or so has been teaching me the wonderful lesson of waiting to react, to get all the info first before I sky rocket into orbit over something (do you remember my husband’s favorite picture from a while back, me with flames coming out of my head and his caption: ‘My favorite little hot head’ – some things come naturally to me). Have I perfected this? Heavens no, I still give him the reaction he wants many a time. But there are times now, where I do not react – at all.

To be fair, he has also taught me the art of baiting the hook and sometimes, not often, but sometimes, I get the satisfaction of watching that fishing lure get swallowed hook, line and sinker. The glee and satisfaction that fill my soul, is awesome!

This whole subject, the blame game reminds me that it was the first game on the block. Adam and Eve pulled it right there in the Garden of Eden. “Well that woman you put here with me….” “Well that serpent deceived me….” Genesis 3:12 And this crazy circle game has been carrying on ever since, blaming others for our actions.

In this life, if we do not take responsibility for our own choices, actions and reactions, we simply go around and around the crazy trail, and wonder why we keep having these things happen to us.

Read the following story and you figure out which street you are on:

“I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost... I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes forever to find a way out. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I am in the same place. But, it isn't my fault. It still takes me a long time to get out. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in. It's a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it. I walk down another street.” ― Portia Nelson, There's a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery

For me, it took a lot of falling into the same darn hole before I knew there were other choices. As a very wise woman I know put it: "If I want tomorrow to be different, I need to change today."

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