Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Blame Game - A Mantra to Take the Weight of the World Off Your Shoulders

Do you blame yourself for the choices other people make? Most of you will answer with a resounding "no". But maybe you do take other peoples' choices on without even realizing it. 

We carry a great deal of shame and blame from childhood. Especially when that childhood was less than ideal.

Some years ago, I was having a discussion with one of my siblings. I had been waiting for the day when each of them, one by one, would come and tell me of all the things I'd done that left put it mildly...screwed up.

As the eldest in a terribly abusive home, I had he responsibility of taking care of my siblings. But as a kid myself without positive role models to emulate, I didn't handle all situations, shall we say in a way that kept dignity and respect intact.

The discussion went on with my sibling, until, "Not everything is about you, Darlene!" was blurted out. Sure it was said in anger. Hostility even. But those words were a brick upside the head. It had the effect of making me look at things differently.

Not everything is about us. People do things for their own reasons, good and bad. And when we carry our blame and shame from childhood, we need to remember that we were children.

It is innate in children to blame themselves for everything that goes wrong in their lives. But as we move through the various ages and stages of our lives, we mature. And with that maturity comes the understanding that we are not to blame for everything that goes awry.

Trouble is, some of us continue to hang onto the child-like notion that we are responsible for what others do or what they did. And most of us don't even realize it.

The next time you find yourself playing the blame game, say this mantra to yourself. If it's more helpful to say it out loud, then say it out loud.
 I take responsibility for my own choices, and only my choices.
I am not to blame for what others say or do.
I am not blame for what others said or did.
Repeat. Do not rinse.

I shared one of mine. What are some ways that you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders?

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  1. I am heavy into team sports and I often take responsibility for a mistake made by other team members even though there is nothing I could have done to improve the outcome. The thing to remember is that each of us is doing the very best they can on that particular day. Nobody plays to loose but there is always a winner and a loser.
    Other times I will try and blame an official for a poor performance by my team.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Frank. And I agree; we're all doing the best we can in a particular moment.


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