The Truth about Blame
I loaned my car to a friend for the afternoon. She came back a few hours later and handed me the keys. I asked, “Did you get it in the garage okay?” She said, “Sure did. Thanks so much.” The next day, I went to get in the car and I noticed a large scrape down the driver’s side that wasn’t there before. I called my friend to ask about it. She confessed that it happened when she attempted to park the car in the garage. She told me the wall scraped the car. I asked, “You’re saying the wall did it?” She said, “Yes, if the wall hadn’t been there it would never have happened.”
It seems we will blame anyone or anything when something goes wrong. If we are late for work, we blame the kids or the traffic. If we feel taken advantage of, we blame our friend or our partner. If we gain some weight, we blame our hectic schedule, the long work hours, or our partner again. We blame parents, schools, companies and the government. But, blaming is the same as not taking responsibility. So, what we are really saying when we lay blame elsewhere is that we are not willing to own up to having any part in the unwanted consequences that affect our life. This is a victim point of view and there is no power in it. It’s as if life is happening to us and we have no control over it. From this perspective, we are just pawns in a cruel world who get the shaft on a regular basis. No wonder so many of us are unhappy. But, we don’t have to be.
The truth about blaming is that when we blame others we automatically give up our personal power. We give up the control over our life experience and we give away the authority to create the life we really want. Why would we give our power away? Besides being trained to act this way, we also do it because we need to protect our tarnished self-image so it doesn’t become even more tarnished. That would be too much to bear for most of us. But, if the real outcome of blame is that we are giving away our personal power, then protecting a tarnished self-image doesn’t really seem worth it. There must be something else we can do instead of blaming. There must be another way to deal with difficult situations in our life.
From Weakness to True Power
Blaming others is a weak point of view and as such, it weakens our relationships. It does this because when we blame others, we make them our enemy. This drives a wedge between us and our loved ones. Additionally, anger, misjudgment and resentment are part of blame. When we are angry at our partner because we think they did something that caused us pain, we aren’t likely to feel close to that person anytime soon. This means the connection of love is lost in that moment. Blame separates, rather than connects, us.
Blaming your job for any shortcomings doesn’t make it easy to enjoy your work. Blame also creates schisms in work relationships and depletes opportunities to work together to solve issues. All of this leads to unnecessary stress.
Speaking of stress, blaming can cause chronic stress within us. If we look at the emotions that accompany blame, we will see they raise our blood pressure and heart rate, strain our muscles, mess up our digestion and more. And since we tend to harbor bad feelings with blame, we create chronic stress we really don’t need. Such stress is responsible for most preventable illnesses today including:
- Back pain,
- Stomach upset
- Heart disease,
- Depression, and
- Autoimmune diseases.
If you are someone who rarely believes they have any part in an adverse outcome, if you often think life is unfair or if you regularly dwell on the past, you may be blaming the outside world for the circumstances in your life. Do yourself a favor – stop blaming everyone else or everything else for things that happen in your life today. Even if someone’s actions caused you pain or harm, do not blame them. There are no solutions in blame.
Try this: Each time there is a consequence or an outcome in your life you don’t like, say, “I’m responsible”. This means you are responsible for how that situation affects you emotionally and physically. It also means you are responsible for what you are going to do or not do. This is your power. This is your birthright – to have control over your life even when things happen that are out of your control. Break free from all blame.
Blaming the outside world only keeps us stuck in fear, separated from our loved ones and out of touch with our true power. Giving up blaming may seem like an impossible feat, but it’s not. Once you get used to taking responsibility for your life, you won’t go back to blaming others. You will have gained the freedom to create the outcomes in life you want. Your life will be happier, easier and filled with love. These are the benefits of exercising our true power. Who would willingly give that up?
Responsibility, Not Blame
If we are going to improve the quality of our life and take control of it, then we have to do something different than we have done in the past. We can remove the victim attitude in blame and replace it with a foundation of inner strength and power. To help us get there, let’s do something different. Let’s make a bold move as a society and get rid of the word blame completely. Let’s replace it with responsibility. That simple move changes the energy that currently surrounds blame. It reduces the emotions that are a part of blame and gives us a new, more powerful approach to handling any consequences we experience.
When we take responsibility for our life, we gain the perspective of seeing ourselves as we truly are. We will see what beliefs have been holding us back, making us feel bad about ourselves and creating illness within. With responsibility we have the power to heal what tarnished our self-image so long ago. This healing is long overdue.
In a life where we often feel so powerless, we now have the opportunity to experience the true power that lies within us. We can take responsibility for how we feel, how we act, how we think and how we move forward. If we’ve made a mistake, let’s own it without judgment or anger aimed at anyone, including us. Remember, it’s responsibility not blame, which means opportunity not punishment.
It takes practice to remove blame from your vocabulary and from your reactions. Don’t give up. Being willing to take responsibility for every part of your life actually empowers you. Once you begin to feel this power, you will notice that your life becomes less stressful and more peaceful. Most of all, you will be connected to you – your inner self. This connection gives you the clarity to see what you can let go of or change. This paves the road to creating the life you really want. You deserve that – we all do.