We are masters at creating reality;
experts of self-justification.
How can it be me
that got me into this mess?
I don’t like messes.
I’m sure it can’t be me.
We are gifted at crafting a perception
that explains our powerlessness
and protects us from change.
It’s so unfair how I have been treated,
so misunderstood and under-appreciated.
I want to do my part,
but not when people take advantage of me.
We are capable of lifting the lid
to our pandora mind;
and seeing the truth
that explains our past, present, and future.
but what about the bravery part?
What about the part
where I become willing to see my role
on the road more traveled.
It is a brave thing
to look within;
not for justification,
but for the truth,
whatever it might be.
I don’t think I can do it alone.
I’m too good at seeing things my way.
I’m afraid of what I will find,
afraid of glimpsing the people I have hurt.
ask me the questions that will help me discover . . . me.
It is more the rule than the exception that people grow into adulthood without ever challenging their self-justifications. For such an adult, much energy goes toward crafting a narrowly-focused self view, while at the same time fighting off and even denying different perspectives. The result of this narrow view is a less than happy life, as relationships and circumstances come to be viewed through a victim lens.
It is an incredible gift for parents and teachers to guide and mentor children toward being able to bravely look at themselves. The endless cycle of self-justification needs to be melted and it can begin early.
Keep in mind that while learning to effectively self-evaluate is one of the most important skills a person can have, it can’t be forced or pressured. In fact, pressure almost always leads to the opposite outcome. It has been explained that –
We volunteer to look into this mirror; we choose to pursue self-reflection. People – like teachers and parents – may want to push children to the mirror and force them to think about themselves, but it doesn’t work that way. In fact, pushing to the mirror causes children to push back and to refuse to think and reflect. Turner Herrold
This same person went on to say that –
Blame and punishment are tools that adults can use to push children toward the mirror, but they are an ill-suited pair for such a task. Looking into the mirror requires bravery; blame and punishment create resentment and defensiveness. Looking into the mirror requires vulnerability; blame and punishment build entrenchment.
Choice theory can take on many roles – telescope, microscope, compass, GPS, and map, to name a few – but one of its most important roles is that of mirror. Looking into choice theory we begin to see ourselves more accurately.
The William Glasser biography – Champion of Choice – will be a huge help toward melting ineffective self-justification. Click on the book to quickly order one from Amazon.