"It is a very common,
ancient, well-perfected device
for trying to feel better:
-- Pema Chödrön
She continues, "Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground." And, often, we seem to find what we think is more comfortable by blaming others or circumstances or events. But, is it more comfortable? Does it feel better? Really?
What was eye-opening to me in this quote was that I had never thought of blaming as an attempt at trying to feel better, and yet it resonated with me. Protection, yes. I get that. Protecting myself and my ego, trying to put the spotlight somewhere else. Heck, we learn this at very young ages. But, trying to feel better? To feel good instead of bad? That seemed so different to me.
Another quote regarding blaming from Pema is this one:
"We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who's right and who's wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us and we do it with political systems, with all kinds of things that we don't like about our associates or our society."
Certainly, it is a defensive mechanism, yet I never thought of blame as a way of not communicating genuinely with others. It makes total sense. Fortifying it with our accumulated concepts of right and wrong adds even more clarity. I also know how we have a tendency to do it across the board in life, and it is especially easy with things that are not very close to us. I think it is harder to blame the other when they are really close, though we do it anyway, if not outright verbally, within our inner constant dialog.
But, rather than blame, I think Pema gives the way through and to resolve rather than pretend it is another's fault is this:
"Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look."
We don't have to stay there, but accepting responsibility for how we feel and how we may have created this feeling can help us come to own it and brings us to allow it to pass away without becoming attached to it.
Even more clearly, she shows a more enlightened approach:
"If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher."
Whether We Blame Ourselves Or Others, Is There Really Any Benefit In That?
Spread Some Joy Today--by letting go of the need to blame. Try accepting the way things are and finding loving ways to resolve issues.