Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blame Game

I have been thinking about the whole "blame vs taking responsibility game." When someone is being responsible for themselves, doesn't that in some way imply blame? Is the difference between the two merely on who gets blamed, the person him or herself, or another?

In considering this, it made me think about the idea of blame. How often is someone blamed for something good? Blame is usually associated with something negative. It is associated with something that somehow did not go the way that was intended.

Even if a person takes personal responsibility for his or her life, there are many times things will not go as intended. I know many who would say that we should take personal responsibility for things, as it gives us a sense of power, while blaming makes us a victim.

I am not so sure about that.

There are times in life we are without control, no matter how much we try to have it and no matter how much we do want it. If I take responsibility for something that I may not be able to control, I am still possibly going to feel helpless and like a victim.

I think about this because in thinking that we have the ability to control things and change them, when we don't do it, or are not seemingly able to effect change, it can leave us feeling like a four-letter-word. It can almost be worse than finding someone or something outside of us to blame it on. We should be able to do something about it, right?

I suppose any idea can be empowering or corrupted in a negative way. Someone might even feel empowered by blaming something on another because then they have the freedom to walk away without the weight of the responsibility. In some cases, that even might be a good thing.

It seems to me that no one likes to be blamed. It is easier to tell someone else to take responsibility than it is to be labelled in some uncomfortable way. As I write this I think about something that happened in the past year. I think about how someone blamed me for something that I was hardly responsible for. At the time, I recognized the fact and very calmly pushed back. But what I did not do was tell that person to take responsibility. All I did was not assume any that was not mine.

Maybe there are times others are to blame. "A" did exactly what I asked him not to do. I had asked him to not hang around because of my diagnosis. But he did just that. I was being "responsible" to myself in having the conversation with him and making the request, but in the end, I still got nothing more than sadness and disappointment and hurt when he went against it. And, it was even worse because I had made the request which he chose to ignore.

I wonder if responsibility and blame serve any purpose in life other than to be markers in a the game? I think we often act like they are the answer to the things in life that ail us. The part of us that always wants to fix things, it seems, uses the words, and the ideas of what they are supposed to represent, in an attempt to effect the outcome we desire.

Is that what we are "supposed" to do with it? The implication is that we can control and fix anything. What if there are things that we can't control or can't fix? Is something always responsible for something else? If we don't know what that responsible piece is then how can we do what we need to get what we want? That somehow doesn't seem right or fair to me. Something is affecting us, we don't know why, and there is nothing we can seem to do about it.

It has been said that we aren't given a wish without the ability to fulfill it. I have had many wishes that I have wanted to be fulfilled. They are things I gave everything I had to in every way that I knew to do. I was left wanting. Some would say that there was something that held me back. It was something unconscious, perhaps. It is one potential explanation in a world in which we often feel the need to explain and understand things and feel like we have control.

But do we have control, or do we just have the illusion of control?

What if the focus on responsibility and blame take us away from what just is? Responsibility and blame have inherent judgments in them. It seems to me that without them, we are without the judgments that can control what we do and what we think we want. What if a life lived within a blame and responsibility framework limits us? Maybe that is what we want? After all, when we know what to expect, there is a comfort level that isn't there when we can't label and control and define things.

Several years ago I was speaking with someone who challenged me to say things in the positive. So many people will think they are saying something positive when it actuality, it is said in such a way that it is negating something else. For instance, they are given a choice between a red car and a silver one, and they say, "I don't want the red car."

(And now I forget where I was going with that.

This happens too much lately. I really hope it is just the stress and overwhelm and tiredness that I feel, and nothing more.)

Oh, I think I remember. I think I was thinking about that because at the time it was something that was foreign to me. It took a lot for me to wrap my head around it. It had to bend it ways it wasn't accustomed.

As I am writing this, it seems to me to be a whole different way of looking at things than I am used to. It is a bit difficult to wrap my head around it. But, even still, I am feeling like there may be something to it.

What would life be like if I just dismissed the judgments, labels and boxes? What if I truly just allowed myself to be in the moment and chose to love myself instead of wondering what, if anything, I did wrong or what, if anything, I should be doing differently?

So many times I get annoyed when I think about how words can manipulate people, and even more so when there are people who will justify it. I am really starting to ask myself how do I "know" anything, and it is not likely that it is going to be through what someone else says or does. It is going to be something I will feel in my gut. And if my gut leads the way, I will have to trust that it is taking me exactly where I need to be, and has brought me exactly where I am - and potentially for reasons I will never understand.

In some way, it also seems to me that responsibility and blame aren't words that exist in the now. By the nature of what they provide, they live in the past or the future. Maybe it is time I gave up responsibility and blame and just took on being as aware as I can be in the now, and doing the best I can at any given moment, and trusting that it is the right thing for me to do and - allowing myself to embrace the idea that it IS enough.

That *I* am enough.

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1 comment:

  1. I always tell my kids that they should give the best they can without regrets.