Blame is a projection of pain onto another person. It says that the other person is not only responsible for your experience but also how you feel about that experience, good or bad.

Have you ever thought of blaming somebody because you had a good time? No, of course not. But you're happy to blame people when you find yourself upset or mad. Why? Because you don't like those feelings. You don't want to deal with them and so it's easier to make other people responsible for them.

Consider what that does to you inside of yourself, inside your mind, and indeed inside of your emotions. First it renders you powerless. You handed off your power to the other person. You made them responsible for the whole thing. The powerlessness creates a new story of victimization. The victimization happens when we don't feel like we're in control. The feeling of being out of control sometimes makes us take that victimization out on ourselves by making ourselves unworthy. None of that is true, it's just a story the mind makes up.

Emotionally when you hand off your power you make yourself feel worse. It actually compounds any upset feelings you already had because of the experience itself. It adds a layer of drama to the story and it certainly makes it more colorful, but that's got nothing to do with the other person or the experience itself. It's all you.

Your mind is already on a mission to protect you. It did that the moment the experience happened. Your thinking isn't helped by creating these stories or by giving your power away. The more you buy into these stories and feed the emotions behind them, the worse you feel and the worse your thinking gets. The blame gets stronger. The anger increases. It becomes a little bit of a loop because as you feel worse you blame more and as you blame more you feel worse. It goes around in a circle until you stop.

We can't necessarily control the experiences we have in our lives. The experience may very well happen anyway, so we have to learn to leave experiences where they are. Most experiences outside of you in many respects because the experience doesn't have to be taken in, that's a choice. The experience just is. It's only what you do with the experience within yourself that matters.

Can you separate yourself from your experience just a little bit? What we're trying to do here is give ourselves a little bit of separation so that we have some room to see things differently. We don't need to dissociate, we just need some space to think clearly.

First, your emotional response just is. You're not happy. You're upset. You're mad. Whatever the emotion is, it's fine. You feel what you feel and you simply allow that to be there. The only trick with emotion is that we don't get sucked in. What do I mean? The emotion will cause your mind to start making up stories. Don't buy the stories. Recognize that they are just part of the emotion and we can let them go the same way we let go of the emotion. The emotion is not a permanent way of being. It's temporary. Allow it to flow through and take its stories with it.

Second, your mind is going to leap to your defense and make up all kinds of things for you, including stories of blame, to help make you feel better. Your mind is a valiant warrior but its fighting skills leave something to be desired. There are better ways to handle things than what the mind tries to do.

How do we manage the mind?

Pay attention to the thoughts. You have to recognize those stories. You have to notice what the mind is doing because if you don't you just go down the rabbit hole. To tune out what the mind is doing means you end up in stories of blame whether you want to or not. You end up there because you didn't control where the mind went. You let the mind run rampant and it landed you in the ditch.

The story of the experience just is. They said this. They did that. It's not colorful. There is nothing to interpret. It's actually really boring. All the color, drama, and interpretation is your own making. The experience isn't providing that, you are. In a way what you want to do is drop the experience. Stop telling the story of the experience and simply focus on how you feel and what you think about what happened. This is where your sense of control is.

By dropping the story of the experience you take other people out of it. It removes the possibility of blame. Once the experience happens, regardless of how it got created, it's yours to do something with. Much like cleaning out a closet you have to decide whether you're keeping it, selling it, or tossing it in the dumpster. If you keep it, you're making it your own and you're creating an identity around it. I am this thing that happened to me. If you sell it in this scenario, you're putting an intention behind it to let it go. You're making a conscious choice to release the experience out into the world. That's a good thing because it's putting your power back inside you. If you just dump it all that means is that you really never picked it up in the first place. You recognized it was trash on the side of the road and you just didn't bother with it. Perfect! No junk collecting for you!

We create experiences for each other all the time, intentionally and unintentionally. When people create crappy experiences for us, we tend to get grumpy and that's when the blame shows up. This thing shouldn't have happened. They shouldn't have done that to me. Much like any other experience that we have that gets created by somebody else, we don't really have a lot of control over it. It just kind of happens. It just is. The acceptance of experience as just something that happens helps us avoid the blame game we like to play.

When it's under your control and you are making conscious choices, the only one to blame is yourself. We like to do that too. But much like we don't control the experiences that other people provide us with, we don't control the outcomes of the experiences we provide ourselves with. Notice where the focus is - on where my power or control is located in a given experience. I can't control other people so my power isn't there. I can't control outcomes so my power isn't there either. What I can control is me and I what do in response to all these things.

This is where we're going:

When I don't put my power outside of me and I give myself the space to understand the stories I'm telling and the emotions I'm feeling, what I learn is how to manage myself better within the experiences that I have in my life. I've learned to control myself in a healthy way. I understand my limits in terms of my power and my sense of control. I recognize the pain in others that causes them to do things that project pain outwards. I don't get upset when people project their pain because I can understand that it takes a lot of courage to take responsibility for what I put out in the world. I can find compassion because I've learned not to project my own pain.

When you can do this successfully, even some of the time, you're well on your way to self-mastery. You're on your way to learning how to manage yourself fully. It's not easy and there is a lot of work behind being able to do this successfully, but it's possible.

This was the unknowing path that I found myself on. I woke up one day and went "holy shit!" because I realized suddenly what I had been doing the whole time. That realization put me on this path to share what I'd learned with you.

I can do this for myself now. I taught myself how. It took multiple years and even more experiences to be able to not get sucked into the emotions, recognize the thoughts and stories, and then step back from the whole thing so that I could see it clearly. I look at the world now and I see pain. I can recognize the story. I can see the victimization and the blame. My response to what I see is not to project pain back. My goal is to be able to take full responsibility for myself in such a way that I'm not ever responsible for the pain that shows up in a given experience.  I try to no longer reflect pain back.

Am I perfect? No. I'm human. We're not going for perfect. I'm just going for better than I was yesterday. I'm going to continue to do this to the best of my ability every single day. I'm also going to let myself off the hook when I can't do it or don't do it well because I will not get out the hammer and beat myself up for being human.

Every experience that I have, even with everything that I now know and understand, is still a learning experience. I still use every experience I have as an opportunity to learn something more. I still gain more clarity every day. I still tweak things and I still learn new things all the time. It's an ongoing process. I haven't arrived and I never will. I'm okay with that. The self-mastery that I strive for will never be perfected. I'm just here to learn as much as I can about it so that I can offer the path to those that are interested in it too.

Love to all.


The Blame Game

Have you ever thought of blaming somebody because you had a good time? No, of course not. But you're happy to blame people when you find yourself upset or mad.