The one sure way to be right about your painful life story is to blame others for it.
I have been pondering deeply what it is that I perceive to be one of the chief reasons for so much prolonged human suffering. After twenty-eight years of providing counseling and almost twenty-five years of fulltime ministering I think I have got it.
Now, let us be real for a moment here.
We all do it.
We all think that we are experiencing discomfort and discord because of the actions, words, treatment of others. And as energetic beings that is a relative truth. People do and say unconscious things that go ouch in our energy-system. We tend to react with varying levels of recoil, payback, retaliation.
That is not what I am pointing to. Not exactly.
The type of blame that I am speaking of is a prescription through which we see ourselves as victims to the circumstances and relationships of our lives. Now, again, in the relative there is most certainly victimization. We are all clear about that. Then there is self-inflicted victimization which is a way of showing up in life that is run by unconscious programs that we ourselves generate and perpetuate. We have strong expectations of how we are going to be treated. Those expectations are what is called in physics strange attractors. They also distort reality so that whether the expected treatment is happening or not we perceive that it is.
And then we seal the deal.
I have watched these dynamics countless times. It creates so much unnecessary suffering. It is augmented and further perpetuated by self-sabotage. A perceptual and then behavioral set up by which the faulty core belief is sure to seem true.
For example, a core belief that I am never seen or appreciated. The prescription in the lens is strong and perceptually blinding. It becomes a manifest reality as the victim displays behaviors of not showing up or as showing up in ways that are not appreciable. Then when others react to the sabotaging behaviors they are blamed. It is their fault. They are the cause of the ensuing suffering.
Now any of us can occasionally feel unseen or unheard or underappreciated. It does not feel good. Any of us can also not see, hear, or appreciate someone appropriately. It does happen. Yet when it is a chronic source of pain for someone than something else is going on. Something that can only be remedied by radical honesty and ruthless responsibility.
The beginning of healing this chronic pain is to take responsibility for our part in our ongoing patterns. We must peel the blame off of situations and get radically honest about how we may be setting up the source of pain with our own sabotage. This all becomes possible when we realize that we are in fact the common denominator in all of our painful stories.
I feel compelled to share this as I know it from personal and practical experience.
I have been blessed by a few people courageous enough to tell me the truth about the patterns they saw playing out in my life. I was further blessed with the grace to not shove these truthtellers away. I listened through the wince. I looked deeply at what they were pointing to. I made a long list of situations and scenarios in which I was hurt and diminished. And I was indeed the common denominator. I saw how I had sabotaged situations so that the painful core belief through which I was seeing life would remain true. I saw how even when people tried to acknowledge and uplift me, I would not let it in. It would have been contrary to the story I was living out.
This was some painful self-truth telling for sure. It was not, however, as painful as continuing to live in the world of pain, blame, and sabotage. That had been a life of self-aversion and suffering. And I came to know that most of it was self-inflicted.
The only winner in the blame game is the painful self-story.
If you suspect you may be playing this blame game, I invite you to do a deep dive into the painful scenarios you see as other-inflicted. Make a list. Check it twice. Find the common denominator. Look closely for how you set yourself up by sabotaging and showing up in ways that support the damning story lines.
And then decide if you are willing to own your part, stop blaming, take responsibility, and to become free. You may not believe me, but it is a decision.
When you stop the blaming liberation is just around the corner.
You may well need to go through emotional withdrawal from the lack of habitual torment. It is chemical. It will be uncomfortable and unfamiliar. That is incredibly good news. It means something new is opening within you. It means that opening is a place where you can choose to own your experience. Self-referral is becoming available. Your back is getting stronger and your heart is getting softer.
There really is no prize and no winner in the blame game. It feels momentarily good to project out the internal pain. But putting pain out there puts it out of reach for healing. Healing can only happen in here.
Be brave. Let go the grip on blame. The impulse will still arise. It does for me. I just do not give into it very often anymore. People will still treat you unskillfully. There will still be opportunities for ouch. They just do not need to be used as evidence supporting a self-diminishing story. They instead are evidence that you have dropped the blame and stopped the painful game.
Cease the blame. Stop the sabotage. Just watch how much freer and lighter you become. It is certainly a game worth winning.