"It's all your fault!"
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Judith Schuepfer-Griffin Registered MBACP, BA Hons
1st September, 20140 Comments
To stop blaming others for the difficulties in our lives is one of the trickiest challenges we will ever encounter. It is so hard! The compulsion to blame, to think that it's all someone elses fault is almost as strong as the gravitational pull of a black hole, one of those mysterious invisible monsters in outer space that pull everything in their vicinity into themselves and swallow even light.
We are absolutely totally one hundred percent convinced that, whatever the problem is, it's not our fault, it's the other persons fault, and that they have to change so that we can feel better. Even the idea that I might have my part in it seems preposterous. But: to sit down with myself and seriously consider this possibility, even if every part of my being protests against it, is the only way forward. To insist that "it's all your fault" makes me feel powerless and turns me into a seemingly helpless victim.
By demanding that YOU change I might bang my head endlessly against a brick wall but it won't get me anywhere. Blaming others gives us a strange sense of satisfaction, the satisfaction of our own righteousness: I'm helpless here, but I'm righteous, and I'm right! Somebody once said: Be right or be happy. To let go of the conviction that I'm right is as painful as stopping to blame others. But "being right" doesn't get us anywhere in any relationship.
It's not about blaming ourselves instead of others; blame is a totally useless and destructive concept. It's more about examining myself and the situation I'm in and to start to understand how this situation developed and what my contribution was or is. This means that I take the power over my life and the responsibility for myself back into my own hands.
This can be a painful process, and we might even be confused for a while. We may need to grow up quite a bit and learn to bear the confusion until clarity emerges. To bear an uncomfortable situation for a while is what we all try to avoid. It takes strong emotional muscles to resist the mighty pull of the black hole of blame and to bear the unpleasant realisation that I have helped to create the situation I find myself in.
The way forward is to allow this possibility, to ponder it and to live with it for a while, even if I can't understand yet what my contribution to the problem is or was. It feels like turning all our believes and convictions on the head, but what we really do is to turn ourselves back on our feet. Dispassionate self-examination is a very demanding thing to do, but only self-knowledge brings real freedom.
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