One of the huge benefits of training for an Ironman is all the time logged biking and running – which means I’m getting through 1-2 (sometimes more) audio books a week. Pretty awesome! This week, I was listening to Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by David R. Hawkins and it got me thinking a lot about blame and why people blame others in the first place.
Here’s one thing I know. When people play the blame game, no one wins – and the person who loses the most is the one that is doing the blaming. Think about a time when you blamed someone else for the situation you were in, or blamed an external force like the weather, a bad review, or your kids. What does blaming accomplish? By not taking responsibility for your actions, you are dis-empowering yourself. Are you not responsible for your actions? When you blame others, you are telling the world you can’t control yourself, your thoughts, or your actions. Where’s the power in that?
So why do people blame in the first place? I think there are several key reasons way people place blame – for financial gain, to gain sympathy from others, to be right, to not be wrong, to save face. This is true even when the person you are blaming is yourself.
Blaming actually feels pretty good, though doesn’t it? That’s why a lot of us go there first. It’s immediate gratification.We secretly get satisfaction from pity, excuses, resentment, anger, and blame. It instantly takes the focus off our mistake and puts it on someone or something else. In an effort to protect our psyche and our sense of self, we blame. Hell, society supports us! When we play the blame game and act the victim, society tells us “it’s okay” and “it’s not your fault.” We get to feel pitied and supported emotionally. There are also financial rewards from playing the victim card. Our society is so litigious – everyone and their mother is sue-happy! Why? Because someone needs to be right and someone needs to be wrong (and they must pay).
But there is are real cost to blaming that has nothing to do with money. By giving in to these negative emotions, we lower our state of consciousness and we create a belief system that we are victim, that nothing goes right for us, and everyone or everything else is to blame. And guess what? When you play the victim – you become a victim. Instead, take control, let go of blame, and forgive.
The idea of blame starts in childhood. If something went wrong for whatever reason, a child will immediately go to blaming someone else. If not, it means that they must be at fault. The child, and the mind, are simply trying to protect themselves. But here’s another idea for you – no one has to be at fault. Blaming is a choice. We do not have to blame ourselves or others; placing blame is not necessary! How about we take responsibility for our actions and for our consciousness instead? Why must someone or something always be wrong? Perhaps a decision you made or choice you made was the right one at the time, but it just didn’t turn out that great. So what? The concept of “wrong” doesn’t have to exist when there is an undesirable situation. Unfortunate events may have just happened. Accept them. And let it go.
Give this experiment a try sometime this week to experience how the laws of consciousness work: Find someone that you have blamed something for in your life. It might have been years ago, but choose a person who you have blamed. And just start forgiving them. Say, “I forgive you.” You don’t need to let them know you are doing this unless you want to. This is for you. You will likely start to feel anger, jealousy, fear, sadness. Let it go and surrender to those feelings. It may not happen overnight, but by forgiving this person, you will be more free. Free to experience life at a higher level of consciousness and you just might be surprised by what positive things come into your life.
Let go of blame. Let go of the negative. If you don’t, the only person you are really hurting is yourself.