Blame is a disempowering mindset
On last week’s truth-bomb I talked about why we can end up carrying hurts around with us, sometimes for the rest of our lives. The wounded stories serve a purpose.
Today I wanted to talk about another element: blame.
Blame is directed anger and an assignment of responsibility. It says “this is your fault.”
Well, say someone hurt you. You still carry the scars. Blame says that the responsibility for those scars belongs to them.
So in the sequence of blame there are a few interesting things to separate out. Let me spell it out.
1. You hurt me.
2. The wounds left a scar.
3. That scar is part of who I am.
4. That ‘who I am’ is wounded, and still suffers.
5. The responsibility for all of that is on your head.
6. You suck.
You can probably guess where I’m going to go first.
Yep. Number 5. Responsibility.
Since blame assigns responsibility to others, it’s another way of saying that blame shifts responsibility away from yourself.
In that sense, we’re giving a lot of power away when we blame another person.
It’s saying, it’s their job to clean up this mess.
And that might be all well and good, but when the mess is your own life, and they have no capacity or willingness to clean up the mess they made, then it’s a bit silly holding out for them to pick up the pieces.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be angry with them for coming and laying a turd in your life. But blame is a step further. It says it’s their job, and not yours, to clean it up.
And of course, it’s not fair to have to clean up someone else’s mess. I’m a mother. I know life is not fair like that. But you’re doubling down on your misery if you just leave that mess there, stinking up your life like that.
If you have to, spur yourself on with the idea that success is the best revenge. Ideally, they would come and right wrongs. If not, at least they have to witness you strutting around in your shiny clean and awesome life.
The other thing I want to point to is number 3: That scar has made me who I am.
Implicit in the blame statement is the idea that ‘who I am’ is less awesome than the ‘who I am’ I would have been if you hadn’t come and laid that turd in the living room of my life.
In the same way that the previous statement gives away our power, this statement denies our awesomeness.
It says that I am a wounded, lesser person.
That may or may not be true. Our wounds define us. Most growth comes through challenge and suffering. Think about the compassion you’ve learnt, the wisdom you’ve gained, the array of tricks you’ve learnt for getting stubborn stains out of plush-pile.
Are you sure you’re not actually awesome right now? Are you sure you’re not exactly the being you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you’re meant to be doing to turn this life into a gala extravaganza of love, and abundance, joy?
Are you sure?
If you’re saying no, you’ve really got to understand the consequences of that. In many ways, the first step is to say that everything that has happened in my life has been for a reason. Every one has been a blessing. Everything thing has primed me for the amazing now.
And there’s just no room for that in the blame statement.
So if you’re going to blame someone, go all the way. Blame them fully.
Say yes, you made a mess in my life, but it made me who I am. And that person is exactly the person I was meant to be, so that from this day forward, I could love fully, live joyously, and sing my little Bette Midler guts out.
It’s a no-brainer right?
The alternative is to say that I am a lesser being with no power. What good do you think is going to come from that way of thinking?
So what is the task then? What’s our homework?
Go back and find the wounds that you’re carrying. Find the stories. And then forgive them all. Say that from this day forward, I’m just not going to live with that mess in the living room.
Tomorrow will be different.