Most of my meaningful conversations occur within my circle of eight; the past few days, the concept of blame arose three times so I suppose it is time to formalize my thoughts. Blame is one of the most useless human actions I know. This does not mean I do not like to be checked if I am doing something inappropriate. I value the fact that my friends can call me out when I am doing something that is not in line with my heart and soul. When they can hold a mirror before me and make me take a hard look at myself. That is not blame. Blame is founded in someone else’s lack of accountability, someone’s inability to be reflective, and someone’s insecurities. It is challenging at best to stand in the discomfort and possibly pain of your own self-reflection. While that is difficult, it is even more difficult to never grow because of lack of analysis, to be stationary or even repeat the same actions to hurt oneself and those you care for especially after displacing responsibility for it previously.
At times when people engage in the blame game, they are being irrational, searching for some reason to deflect their own pain, some easy way out and shortcuts often cause more pain in this situation only perpetuating the cycle. Trying to be rational and reason with someone in this situations makes you just as irrational as they are being; a logical argument to the illogical only breeds the illogical often time exponentially. No matter how well thought out the dialogue, if you decide to try and have a rational conversations with a bear, expect to get swiped at the very least and fully consumed in most instances.
If you are needing to defend yourself against someone who is making you the villain you will begin to damage your own psyche. Having spent a lifetime of doing this I understand the why we feel we should explain ourselves, why we are not the villain; I wasted years trying to explain my logic and worth to the accuser. You will come across people in life, your path will cross theirs and although you both may be standing at the same place, you will not be at the same point in your journey. They may be filled with pain or grief that they may have no idea of the gravity of their actions, that they may not have the same skills you do to deal with it. It takes hard work and diligence to develop introspection, to understand when you are at fault, to accept accountability, rectify the issue, for that is the best way to honor yourself. It can be a struggle to not get pulled into the blame game, people who are displacing accountability will never hear even your best most logical argument because they have constructed this irrational excuse that makes it easier to live with themselves at this moment in time. How can one maintain their self-respect and hold their head high, choosing to know your truth as opposed to becoming their own defense counsel? How can you offer compassion for yourself and the person disparaging you at the same time?
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change” ― Thich Nhat Hanh