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July 24, 2014

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Being the parent of a 6 year-old and a 4 year-old, there’s a lot of finger pointing going on in my house. Last night, I caught the girls playing in Jalen’s room about an hour after we’d put them to bed. I opened the door to find the lights on, Jalen sitting up, playing with her stuffed animals and Emmy dancing around the room like it was

“Daddy…um, I think Emmy…sneaked in my room accidentally.”

“No, that’s not right, Daddy. She did come in my room, but I think she didn’t mean to.

“Yes you did, Jalen. I didn’t do anything. It’s not my fault.”

The truth, once revealed, was actually quite innocent. Jalen was scared in her bed alone and got up to find us. But Jennifer had run to the store and I was upstairs on the phone. She didn’t want to interrupt my call, so Jalen asked her sister to come sleep in her room and Emmy agreed. They were going to go to straight to sleep, but

I wasn’t mad. I didn’t even mind what they’d done. I would have just put them back to bed. But the lie…the blaming…not admitting their part. There was nothing good

They shed some tears and apologized to each other for the false accusations. I asked them to admit their part in what had happened and they did – with smiles on their faces this time, instead of fear. They hugged each other, gave me kisses, and

As I put them to bed and settled into my own, I replayed it all again in my head. And though it was a simple example with small consequences, I couldn’t help but see myself and the rest of us in their childish, but oh so human, example. So often, when we fail or falter, the last thing we want to do is accept responsibility .

How can I make this not my fault? Instinctually, we look for anyone around us that can shine the spotlight and cast the blame on.

But life will teach us this lesson well. We do ourselves no favors by pointing fingers at someone else – or even worse, sticking our heads in the sand, ignoring the power we have and the role we play in our own lives.

More and more, I’m learning the immense power of my choices, both good and bad, to shape my life and experience. Regardless of what anyone else did or does, I am responsible for me. You are responsible for you. And each of us will find our

Even typing that list made my stomach turn a little. But in truth, this is awesome news. Because if our choices were powerful enough to get us where we are, then they’re also strong enough to take us where we want to be.

If avoiding the hardest words will cause us pain, or keep us from where we’re meant to be, then embracing them will end it and move us forward…in an instant.

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