It’s very easy to look at a situation and see what another person has done “wrong” in our opinion. And thus it’s very easy to blame that problem, or the “not working,” or the disconnect, or the ________(fill in the blank) on someone else. But when we issue blame like that, we are merely giving ourselves a free pass to not look within. By not asking ourselves what we can take responsibility for in any situation we are depriving ourselves of the opportunity to grow and to heal.
Blaming others leaves us powerless. Blaming others leaves us in victim consciousness. There is no power in saying that the result of something is someone else’s fault because then we have zero power in changing anything. Especially in changing ourselves. When we blame we remain stale and stagnant and closed off.
We stay stuck and complacent. And we energetically tell the universe that we don’t desire to grow. Blame is an ego response and one we are very accustomed to defaulting to because we all grow up thinking that situations of conflict have to be defined in terms of “right” or “wrong.” And then if I am right in this argument then someone else HAS to be wrong.
That is black and white thinking.
And we do not live in black and white. We live in color. And living in color creates a lot of area for shade and tone. And it’s within those areas that we can not only grow ourselves, but also learn about the people we care about.
The reality is that none of us see the world in exactly the same way. We may desire to spend most of our time with those whose perceptions are similar to our own, and that is certainly fine to make that choice. But to limit ourselves by not exploring how the differences in perception are seen, felt and heard, we are also depriving ourselves of the opportunity to expand our own world view, and thus be able to experience even more of our own selves, our own essences. Which in my humble opinion is why we are living this physical experience. To know and grow our souls and our spirits.
That mechanism is so much more expansive than saying that “someone else did me wrong and I am completely right.” We can ask ourselves in ANY situation what we can take responsibility for. Even in those very clear cut situations where we KNOW we do not desire or deserve to be treated a certain way and/or that someone else has treated us with disrespect or disregard. We can still look at what we brought to the experience.
When we find ourselves in relationship with people in our lives, we can use the conflicts we encounter to practice listening, understanding, compassion and empathy by releasing the need to be right. And those states are of a much higher energetic vibration than those we put ourselves in while trying to prove how wronged we were via complaining, anger, blame and victimhood.
I am not suggesting that we don’t acknowledge or express how we are feeling about something. Feelings need to be processed and can always be conveyed from an “I” perspective when we communicate them. We can tell someone that “I feel hurt, or angry, or misunderstood or unheard” or however we are feeling. But using those statements is very different than the accusatory “you” statements. “You hurt me,” ” you pissed me off,” “you did this wrong”, etc. Statements like those only put someone else on the defensive and then negate the atmosphere of caring and understanding.
We can still extend compassion to others even if we are angry at them. We don’t need to close our hearts and cut off our feelings of care just because we feel like someone else was acting like an a hole.
But there must be a willingness to let go of some of our ego defenses. Our ego wants us to be right. And we don’t need to hate on our ego, but the idea is to move into a more heart centered space so that the people, situations and relationships can grow from the conflict.
So my suggested action step is the next time you are angry or upset about something to first and foremost breathe. Get centered. Stay present. Bring yourself into a higher perspective rather than getting stuck in anger or blame. Remind yourself if you are dealing with someone you care about that you do in fact care about them! Resist the urge to make another person the bad guy so that you can “win.” And ask yourself what you can take responsibility for in the situation.
If it’s one where communication is available for you, communicate from the “I” perspective. Let someone know how you feel. Not accusing anyone else of anything, just letting them know how you feel. And as I would always recommend in any situation, ask yourself what you can learn from it. And then set the intention to be open to the learning and the growth potential.