Blame A Block to Healing
- Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC
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From Anonymous 12 Step Literature
Blame is putting the things we do wrong on somebody or something else. As long as we blame others, circumstances, and/or past events, we do not have to accept responsibility for ourselves. When we avoid responsibility, growth is blocked. Blame makes it difficult to see how we contribute to a bad situation. Our parents, our children, our spouse, or our work environment may have truly contributed to our unhappiness. However, it remains that the only thing we can control is our own behavior.
Blame is a terrible master. It makes us slaves to irresponsibility and avoidance. We will never be in charge of our own person if we choose to blame another. How? Blame closes us off from important feedback. Rationalizing why I am "right" and the other is "wrong" builds walls between people. It is difficult to listen when we are busy diagnosing the other person's problem. Even if what we see in them is somewhat true, our emphasis on them does not help us.
When we project blame toward others we are really saying they are responsible for our failures. If others are responsible for our failures, do they then get credit for our success?
There is a way out of this projective trap that way is to stop blaming. This process takes an effort, practice and prayer. Refuse to let yourself complain and refuse to let yourself find fault. How? Refuse to accuse. Be honest with God about your hurt, anger and disappointment. He can take it. Look for ways that God is answering your out-pouring to Him. Understand that the way He answers may not be the way you expect Him to answer.
Ask people for feedback about your blaming, murmuring and judgmental behavior. Perhaps you can meet with an accountability group or prayer partner. By honestly interacting with people committed to honesty with us, we can isolate problems and begin to correct ourselves (with God's help). Perhaps you can agree to receive signals from group members when you fall into a blaming mode.
Communication, long couched in blaming, negative humor or sarcasm must be replaced with the ability to appropriately say how you feel to God and others. The acceptance of responsibility for difficult feelings without laying the cause of them on another will help you own your own blaming behavior. Mad, sad, or bad feelings are normal. It is what we do with these feelings that count. Confronting a blaming attitude may help relieve depression, set you free to talk with God and move you to learn things you've always wanted to learn about yourself. Taking responsibility for a blaming attitude provides a real path to real joy.
(Phil 1:6) "Being confident in this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
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