Monday, July 2, 2012
It's All Your Fault!
by Ken McLeod
Summer 2012 quarterly issue
Blame is refreshing, because it is so unambiguously a reaction. You don't have to think or wonder about it. As soon as you see you are running the blame game, you know you are in reaction. Stop right there. What's happening?
Clearly, things didn't turn out the way you expected or wanted. You are frustrated and disappointed, and you can't tolerate those feelings. You don't want to feel this way.
You have a story about what happened, but that story is immediately suspect because in it, you are the hero. You use logic and reason, the opinions of others, support from friends or colleagues, to bolster your story. You are right!
But remember, when it comes to blame, reason is a weapon you use when you do not want to acknowledge your anger. Or, depending on your predilections, you turn it around--you still have a story and you still have a privileged role, but this time, you are wrong. It's all your fault.
To counter this pattern, the first instruction is to lay all your problems, everything that is wrong in your life, at the doorstep of one pattern: wanting things to be different from what they are. Blame is a wonderful reminder here of how deeply you want the world to conform to your expectations.
The second instruction is to meet whatever arises. Don't avoid it, internally or externally. When things turn out differently, meet that situation, not the one you wanted or expected.
One last point. Blame is a form of mind killing. It reduces the complexities of a situation down to one emotionally charged point. It blinds you to the role of other factors. It provokes reactions that lead people to act against their interests.
Thus, when the blame game is running, stop. Stop right there. Step out of your story. Step out of your judgments. Step out of your obsession with who's right and who's wrong. Step out of your racing mind.
Take a breath and meet the world you are in.
Labels: Waxing Philosophical