Cleaning Out the Blame Game photo by diametrik  (modified WC Allen)

On Cleaning Out the Blame Game

Clean­ing Out the Blame Game–There’s noth­ing par­tic­u­lar­ly help­ful about blame. And yet, it seems our minds rev­el in blame’s appeal. We fill our minds with slights, we tell our­selves how hard-done-by-we are, and we make our­selves vic­tims of the past.

In this arti­cle, we look at clean­ing out our minds  —  let­ting go of what does not work. From this ‘cleaned place,’ new choic­es emerge.

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It becomes so easy to get caught in the rut of repeat­ing behav­iours and activ­i­ties that either do not work, or used to work and no longer do

And yet, getting going with something else is tough, because inertia is a complicated thing

Clean­ing out old ways of being is an inten­sive process. It seems to me that most peo­ple would pre­fer to sim­ply change “loca­tions or cast members.”

The prob­lem with this “non-per­son­al” approach is that some­where between 6 weeks and 6 months, ‘the bag­gage arrives.’ 

All of the old, unre­solved stuff re-emerges. Same stuff, dif­fer­ent loca­tion. or context.

I just flashed on that scene in Mon­ty Python’s “Holy Grail” movie.

Arthur con­fronts the Black Knight. A sword fight ensues. Arthur lops off the guy’s arm. “ ‘Tis only a flesh wound!”

Off goes the oth­er arm, then one leg, then anoth­er. After each ‘lop­ping’ the Black Knight con­tin­ues to yell and scream about how he’s going to slice Arthur to bits. 

Arthur walks off in dis­gust, leav­ing a scream­ing tor­so in his wake.

You got­ta ask your­self  —  how many limbs does one have to lose (metaphor­i­cal­ly) before one is will­ing to shift the behav­iour that caused it?

Here are a few things you could think about “cleaning out.”

1. Clean out blaming.

Noth­ing is hap­pen­ing to you, and no one is the cause of your difficulties.

So long as you think exter­nals are ‘mak­ing’ you mis­er­able, you’re going to stay deeply stuck. Instead, think about and imple­ment self-respon­si­ble, inter­nal changes.

This will require that you actu­al­ly look at how you are mak­ing your­self sick, mis­er­able, off bal­ance. This is, of course, hard work. It’s much eas­i­er to fin­ger point.

If you want your life to be dif­fer­ent, you must get your focus back to where it always belongs  —  on you and your inter­nal dra­mas. From there, authen­tic choice is always possible.

2. Clean out guilt.

Being self-respon­si­ble means accept­ing that cause and effect (kar­ma) exists. If you yell at some­one, they like­ly will react with anger (unless they read this blog, in which case they will laugh and sug­gest you get over yourself ;-))

If you eat and drinkjunk, your body will soon let you know about it. If you don’t pay atten­tion, you’ll trip over stuff.

Most peo­ple under­stand this karmic effect. They then imme­di­ate­ly begin a guilt trip aimed at them­selves. “You should know bet­ter. What an idiot!” The joke is that they think this actu­al­ly accom­plish­es some­thing. Guilt is not noble. It’s blam­ing your­self, and then feel­ing self-right­eous as you beat up on yourself.

Accept­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty is” “I did this, and got lousy results, all on my own. From now on, I’ll try oth­er things.”

In oth­er words, drop the guilt and do some­thing different.

3. Clean out personal inertia.

Most of my clients were suc­cess­ful in their careers, less suc­cess­ful in their per­son­al and rela­tion­al lives. 

When we talked, they’d tell me how busy they were, and how hard it was to ‘fit in’ a more cen­tered, med­i­ta­tive, present way of liv­ing and being. 

Most want­ed a short-cut  —  a tech­nique that they could ‘do.’

I demurred. The last thing I want­ed to do is give anoth­er ‘doing’ to already over-busy peo­ple.

Besides, busy­ness is just anoth­er ploy to keep from chang­ing the impor­tant stuff.

Instead, I rec­om­mend self-dis­ci­pline  —  focus­ing deeply on the present moment, over and over again.

To be present in the midst of your life.

Busy­ness is anoth­er excuse. It’s a vari­ant of blam­ing. “How could I do any­thing over the hol­i­days? IT was so busy!”

Where, you might ask, are all of your excus­es get­ting you? It’s time to take com­plete respon­si­bil­i­ty for your ‘days,’ your direc­tion, your actions, and your life.

4. Clean out your stories.

Most peo­ple are rigid­ly fixed on their ver­sion of their past. They cre­ate an ‘abuse sto­ry’ and use it to con­tin­ue to define themselves. 

I do not deny that bad stuff has hap­pened to people.

I’m just say­ing that liv­ing out the ‘abuse’ sto­ry for the next 20–50 years is a mon­u­men­tal waste of a life.

The whole point of good ther­a­py is to come to a place of accep­tance.

There is no way to change your past. No one ever has. It seems to me that what most peo­ple do with the past is con­tin­ue to dredge it up, and then try to get oth­ers to admit that, indeed, it was ‘ter­ri­ble.’

I’m just not sure what this accom­plish­es, oth­er than to be sure you stay stuck in the past.

Do some ther­a­py, and learn to ‘sim­ply accept.’ This takes prac­tice. How­ev­er, accep­tance means you can final­ly move on.

5. Clean out your fears.

Fears either define you, or are some­thing you accept and transcend. 

If you find that your first thought or sen­ti­ment is “I can’t do that!” your fears are dic­tat­ing your life.

Get this: every­one is afraid of some­thing. This is an ele­ment of our humanity. 

But you’ll like­ly have noticed that most of the things you feared have nev­er actu­al­ly hap­pened. That’s why bad stuff is still called an ‘acci­dent.’

Fear helps us to notice that our body is not com­fort­able  —  fear is a ‘secu­ri­ty warn­ing.’ Fear ought to elic­it our ‘pro­ceed with cau­tion’ pro­gram, not the ‘freeze like a deer caught in the head­lights of a car’ reaction.

Find a way to con­front your fear in the only func­tion­al way  —  pro­ceed care­ful­ly to do some­thing. Exper­i­ment. Push your fear boundary.

The com­mon theme above is this: blam­ing gets us nowhere. Label­ing our­selves and oth­ers is not par­tic­u­lar­ly help­ful, either. This year, watch your mind scram­ble to blame and name, have a lit­tle laugh, and let go of cling­ing to your mind’s chat­ter. Instead, play with sim­ple, ele­gant, new ways of being.

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