|The Blame Game|
|Written by Gina Lake|
|Friday, 15 October 2010 07:11|
It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that blaming is entirely the ego's thing and never comes from a place of alignment with Essence. Still, even when we know this, we may fall prey to blaming because we are wired, or programmed, to blame others. Blaming is an automatic and therefore often unconscious response. The thing about unconscious responses is that we don't question them. And the thing about our programming is that we believe it, that is, we really believe someone or something else is to blame when that's what we are thinking and feeling. Our thoughts and feelings are so convincing that even when we can see how useless and even destructive blame is, we still do it.
Our only recourse is to become more conscious of thoughts of blame when they arise, to recognize them as the ego's defense mechanism and a way of coping with difficulties, and then to choose not to indulge those thoughts, which can quickly turn into feelings that compel us to act in angry and punishing ways. It's essential to catch the idea that someone or something is to blame before that thought becomes strengthened by feelings.
Watch the mind as it tries to pin blame on one thing or another. It scrambles from one opinion or theory to another, or it comes to a conclusion immediately. When something happens that we don't like, this blame machinery instantly kicks in. "What or who is to blame?" is often one of the first thoughts that comes to mind. The trouble with this question is that there is no simple answer, although the ego doesn't acknowledge the complexity of life.
The ego operates very much from a framework of cause and effect: One cause creates one effect. But life isn't like that. For example, we think that if someone harms someone or something, then the person who performed that action is the cause of the harm. But what led up to that person doing that? There are many causes for that behavior, not only that person's past experiences and personal conditioning, but that person's cultural conditioning, including the media and the times we live in. There are genetic, physical, mental, environmental, personality-based, history-based, human, cultural, karmic, and other influences and contributors to every action. When it comes to our choices, it may seem like we have free will, but the combination of our conditioning and other influences often compels us to make choices that aren't really very free. This is not to excuse harmful behavior, but to point out that placing blame is not that easy.
Moreover, blaming others is a dysfunctional response, meaning it doesn't change what happened and it doesn't improve or fix the situation. In fact, blame keeps us in the grip of the ego, where we are out of touch with the wisdom, acceptance, compassion, and truer perspective of Essence, which responds to life wisely, rationally, and in a way that heals and helps the situation. To the ego, bringing acceptance to a situation we don't like seems ludicrous, and yet, it is acceptance that allows us to access the wisdom, peace, and equanimity of our true self and act from that place instead of from the ego's narrow, destructive perspective.
Blaming is one of the easiest things in the world to do because following the ego's programming is what is easiest for us to do. Unfortunately, blaming leads to more unhappiness and pain. It doesn't make sense that what is automatic and feels true to do is actually the destructive thing to do, but then again, when we are in the grip of the ego, we don't care if we are being destructive.
However, blame is not only destructive to others, but also to ourselves. And that's what must be seen. It isn't hard to see this if we are willing to notice the effect that blame has on our bodies and consciousness. Blame causes us to contract and feel terrible. If it weren't for the sense it gives us of being right, we probably wouldn't indulge in it as much as we do. But blame gives us a sense of being right as well as a false sense that we are doing something about the problem, when actually we aren't bringing anything constructive to the situation.
Trying to come up with answers to who or what is to blame for something is a fruitless exercise. It is a waste of our time and energy. Worst of all, it removes us from the place where love and wisdom flow, and that's a terrible punishment to heap upon ourselves. The beauty and power of forgiveness is that it takes us out of blame. It redeems us from the grasp of the ego and drops us back into Essence, where we belong.