The Lure of Blame
I am pretty certain, though I have no research to back me up, that the practice of blaming others is the number one reason why we are unable to achieve what we set out to do. It is a delicious habit and so easy to do. It begins young and flourishes at school and into adult life. We all seem to do it. And we think we are RIGHT. That is the problem.
So what is so wrong and bad about blame if we are so right. Let’s face it. There are a lot of leaders and ordinary people who do a lot of nasty stuff. They deserve our blame, don’t they? Well at least a good kick in the a…. for sure.
Here’s the problem with blame. So when I got fired or when I get fired, I immediately blame the person who fired me for ruining my life. Then I hold a great deal of negative energy toward that person because in my mind they deserve to have me feeling negative toward them. What is the end result? Besides not having the job, now I also aim negative energy toward another which has the effect of taking a lot of my positive energy away from what I want to accomplish. The reason why blame doesn’t work, even when someone else has done something really horrible, is that as soon as you start laying blame, you hand the responsibility for achieving your life’s ambitions over to the perpetrator and then you stay stuck in a pool of muck.
The other night I was watching the movie, Precious, which recounts the life of a teenage girl who has been abused repeatedly sexually, emotionally, and verbally throughout her young life which leaves her uneducated and with two small children. What humbled me, in watching the film, was how she managed to not only survive her mistreatment, but to start taking a lot of steps forward to improve everything about her life. There is no denying what her mother and father did to her. It was horrendous, but at some point, she just left the blame behind, and went forward.
In my weaker moments I am much worse than her because I can hold onto blame for a long time. She just let it go and got on with her education and motherhood. I can easily stew forever. So I asked myself this question when I was realizing that I could start letting go of how I was blaming others. How long do you need to hold onto blaming the leaders or your parents or your spouse before you will just wake up and realize that what they did has absolutely zero, zero, zero to do with accomplishing the things you really want to do?
This is painful to realize because blame is such a tasty meal. Whatever anyone has done to me is history. It is just a story. The only reason I cannot accomplish what I truly want to do is what I have left undone. When I believe the story, “I have been abused”, then I can put the onus of responsibility on the person who did the abusing, and then I can do nothing and feel like I am right. This is how blame works. You have a bad experience then you say that you were wronged. As soon as you start saying how you were wrong, you can transfer the responsibility to the guilty party and then you don’t have to do any work toward your own inner development. And you can feel self-righteous. Hooray for you!!!
So if blaming gets you stuck in the muck, what else can you do?
Taking the example of being fired, the first principle to understand is that the spiritual world, the unseen greater positive energy, is always conspiring to help you develop all of your true goals. Nothing that happens can keep you from developing your inner self and everything that happens is for the positive. So all I have to realize upon being fired, is that despite the injustice of it all, it is for the best. As soon as I let go of blaming them for firing me, then the responsibility for my own growth and development stays with me which is where I want it.
The delicious nature of blame is that, with it, you can completely and totally stop developing and growing and give it over to the abuser, who unconsciously you know will never do anything. You may even be waiting for an apology before you start going forward which is a little like waiting for hell to freeze over.
Our lives are in our hands, not the hands of the perpetrators. What I realized from being fired was that I was paying too much attention to a great many goals that were from the egos of others. I wasn’t paying attention to my own goals. Now I am seeing that I have a lot of things that I have left un- and underdeveloped for a long time.
I would like to blame Osama Bin-Laden for ruining my life is some way. Wouldn’t you? Well, if not him, at least the government.
Well said, Richard! The problem with blame is that it has friends: self pity, rejection, bitterness, self hatred . . . All of which eat away at us and take us further and further into the prison of self.
I just realized recently that as a child, I suffered horrendous abuse at the hands of my parents for 17 years. But the abuse I’ve perpetrated on myself by opening my arms to these other negative emotions, for the next 34 years, was way more hurtful!