05 October, 2009

It's Your Fault!

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and arguments. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change. -" Thich Nhat Hanh



“It’s your fault.”

How often have I heard this throughout my life – from friends to my brother to partners to my own child.  It’s your fault. 

Sometimes it actually is my fault.  I don’t take issue with looking at the situation, considering my role, and assuming the responsibility that is mine to own. 

I am also one to see my role  where there is no role, which is not always a healthy thing, but I am working on it. 

But not everything that happens in this life is my fault.  I know that this is hard for many to believe, but… it is the truth.

My daughter has learned quickly that I will assume responsibility for my mistakes and only my mistakes – I trust her to be accountable for her mistakes as well.  It doesn’t do any good to blame another or a situation or a circumstance for our choices and decisions and actions.  We learn from seeing our hand in the situation and learning from our actions by taking the responsibility for them.

Oh, but how much easier is it to blame someone else!!

I mean, honestly, when life isn’t going exactly as we want or when people don’t behave as we think they should or we have been scorned or hurt or set aside or lost something we hold dear…

It is so easy to cast blame and invest energy in holding another responsible  over stepping back and considering the situation from all angles – considering the role that we played in that hurt or loss or circumstance.

It is easier to blame another than to look at ourselves – to truly see ourselves and our choices and actions. 

And who do we most often blame or hold responsible?  Those we love and who love us as we know that the love will remain no matter what we say or do.  

Holding others responsible or blaming those we love for our choices and actions and for our frustrations and unhappiness might seem like a wonderful thing to do for a while.  At some level we realize that they are not at fault; we realize the hurt that we might be creating… yet, it can be scary to look in the mirror and recognize that we each are responsible for our own lives – our mistakes as well as our successes.  We can’t change if we focus that energy on blaming others and holding them at fault.

We can’t truly find honesty and integrity and feel love and happiness until we take responsibility for our actions and choices… for our lives.  

"All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won't succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.” – Wayne Dyer






dadshouse said...

Wonderful post. I know a certain person who could really learn from reading this post about the futility of blaming others. But you can't really teach anyone else anything, when it comes to emotional and psychological stuff. They have to learn it for themselves. And only when it's time.

In the meantime, she lets me practice patience.

Sorrow said...

It's funny, when something goes awry, both my children always pipe in with "whose fault is it?"
And I often wonder why we so desperately need to place blame?
It's a lot like taking credit, so many people want to be accoladed for their achievements, but pay no attention to how many mistakes i made to get here.
strange that...

Brian said...

Love the quotes on fault & blame. They speak very clearly to me at this point in time. I only wish they were part of my 'conference approved literature' so I could more freely share them with some associates.

Perhaps outside the confines of a meeting . . .