“Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself.” ~Joseph Campbell
“In life, you can blame a lot of people and you can wallow in self-pity, or you can pick yourself up and say, ‘Listen, I have to be responsible for myself.’” ~Howard Schultz
“Blame is just a lazy person’s way of making sense of chaos.” ~Douglas Coupland
“One of the ways that people avoid taking responsibility for their role in their own pain is what I call the BP’s – blame and projection.” ~Iyanla Vanzant
“Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing; no one to blame.” ~Erica Jong
I have found through my own experience and in working with clients, one of the most challenging areas of personal growth is letting go of blame. It really is far easier to blame than to self-reflect, self-correct, and change.
It is so easy to blame others for our circumstances, our feelings, our reactions, and even our character. And although it is true our life experiences do greatly impact us on a very deep level and shape our personalities, it is ultimately our choice to allow it to continue or not. If our past is creating havoc in our lives by way of unresolved grief, limiting beliefs about ourselves, fears and insecurities, a lack of self-love, or repressed anger and resentments, then it is ultimately our responsibility to do whatever it takes to heal and become whole again.
To blame is to be a victim of other people’s actions, choices, perspectives, beliefs, and unhealed wounds. This is a very strong link in the victim chain and takes a great deal of determination, courage and strength to break.
Letting go of blame is a key essential for attaining personal freedom and empowerment. There is no personal power in allowing another person’s actions—whether past or present—to have a negative impact on the person we want to be or are striving to become.
For example, someone may state an opinion, belief, observation or behave in a certain way and we take it personally. This personalization triggers a negative reaction in us that feels very uncomfortable. Our first instinct is to blame them for how we are feeling, hoping that when blame them for our feelings, we will feel better.
If you look at how feelings arise in us, however, this makes absolutely no sense. The order starts with the others person’s behavior. We then have a thought about that behavior (remember, this is our thought based on our perceptions and beliefs accumulated from our life experiences.) This thought then creates a negative feeling. So really it is our thoughts that create the feelings. And if our thoughts create a negative feeling, we are in judgment of the feelings or ourselves. It is our judgments and beliefs that are responsible—not the other person.
To illustrate this scenario in two ways:
Other person’s behavior or words —> Our thoughts based on OUR personal life experiences —> We react and feelings get triggered through judgment —> We blame them for our feelings hoping to feel better —> There is no inner reflection or inquiry —> No resolution or release of feelings, only eventual repression —> Release of control and choice —> No personal growth, freedom or personal empowerment —> Victim
Other person’s behavior or words —> Our thoughts based on OUR personal life experiences —> Our feelings get triggered through judgment —> We do not react to our feelings but observe them —> We do not blame the other person and we take ownership of our feelings —> Inner reflection and inquiry into what long-held judgments and beliefs are causing our feelings —> We create awareness around areas that may need to be healed within ourselves or areas where we need to grow and change within ourselves —> We now have control and choice —> Personal Growth, Freedom and Self-empowerment —> Responsibly Healthy
Letting go of blame takes courage and practice. It is a spiritual muscle that gets stronger with each experience we choose to claim our power versus give it away.
Who or what are you blaming in your life? Can you take responsibility and take your power back?Click here to schedule your free call with Gina.