"If we think of suffering as something unnatural, something that we shouldn't be experiencing, then it's not much of a leap to begin to look for someone to blame for our suffering. If I'm unhappy, then I must be the 'victim' of someone or something... Or we may turn blame inward: there's something wrong with me... But the risk of continuing to focus on assigning blame and maintaining a victim stance is the perpetuation of our suffering - with persistent feelings of anger, frustration, and resentment." -- The Art of Happiness (Howard C. Cutler, MD)
"Until a country, society, or individual gets beyond victimhood, and its manifestations of blaming and complaining, to look at the truth - that we set our own destiny - we will make no progress." -- Paul Sutherland
It's after the Weekend of No Blame... And there's something you may have noticed if you were purposefully setting aside blame for a few days: ...Did forgiveness - which we tend to think of as -doing- something (hard) - drift softly into place while we weren't looking, simply because we'd created the space for it?
Author & psychotherapist M. Scott Peck said in -Further Along the Road Less Traveled-: "That is precisely what forgiveness is: the process of stopping, of ending, the Blaming Game."
The more we practice refraining from blame, the more we -let- forgiveness enter in.
From the book -Tao Te Ching- by Lao-Tzu, trans. by Stephen Mitchell - Chapter 79:
Failure is an opportunity.
If you blame someone else,
there is no end to the blame.
Therefore the Master
fulfills her own obligations
and corrects her own mistakes.
She does what she needs to do
and demands nothing of others.
The Global Consciousness Project was begun in 1998 - 60+ random event generators around the world continually collect data from quantum-level electronic noise and transmit it to the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab. "The continuous datastreams from these instruments tend to depart from expectation when major 'Global Events' stimulate a wide-spread coherence of thoughts and emotions." ...Readouts in graph form show effects of coherent reactions - i.e., -not- random - for 500+ events that engaged either positive or/and negative emotions (and hope?) in masses of people concentrating all on one thing they cared about. ...Not dissimilar to a Weekend of No Blame
"It is the ability to hold back, restrain and -contain- a powerful emotion that allows a person to creatively channel that energy. ...When we allow ourselves to be swept away into uncontained emotional expression, we may actually -split off- from what we are feeling. We are held hostage by these habitual emotions, unaware that they can only be transformed if we consciously restrain and resist being triggered into the expressive phase. ...Containment promotes choice between a number of possible responses where previously there were only those of fear, rage, defensiveness and helplessness." -- Peter A. Levine, from his book IN AN UNSPOKEN VOICE: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness
In 2006, a man killed and wounded children in a Lancaster County, PA Amish school. Journalist John Grogan wrote: "Within hours...the local Amish community was already expressing forgiveness. ... Amish neighbors went to the killer's home to console his wife and other relatives. They attended his funeral and invited his widow to attend at least one of the murdered girl's funerals. As thousands of dollars poured in from around the world to help the families of the victims, the Amish set up a fund for the killer's own children. ... It is the stuff sermons are built around. If the Amish can forgive such a ghastly violation, can't we all try to be just a little more forgiving of the slights and hurts and wrongs of daily life?"
Conflict resolution specialist John Kinyon's gentle take on blame seems to be that it stems from a simple failure to divert ourselves from the fight/flight/freeze response to stress (i.e., saving oneself becomes primary - "When I get that response, I start thinking in a way that you become other than me") so as to be -able- to approach conflicts with a compassionate attitude:
"All people have the same basic needs, like love, trust, support and safety. These needs are ou...r common ground; they connect us as human beings when we are communicating. But very often people try to meet their needs by coercing others into doing what they want. There are many ways of coercion: using guilt, fear of consequences, shame or stressing duty or obligation. It all comes down to the same things: I don't care about your needs.
"There is a much more direct way to meet your needs, and that involves speaking about the needs we all have. For example, if someone has an 'enemy image' of his colleague, he could start thinking about what's behind that image. If he thinks the colleague is rude, then what does that say about his own need? Perhaps he feels his need for respect is being compromised. And he could think about the needs of the colleague. If he lets that sink in and then talks to his colleague, he will be talking to him out of a whole different energy."
(from "The Intelligent Optimist", Sept/Oct 2012 issue)
"A ministry of anger"... is this the outcome of blaming? This video of Robert G. Smith, developer/teacher of Faster EFT, speaks to the false security of personal boundaries that -hem in- anger and pain - and to the true security that comes from recognizing and dealing with your -own- hurts that lie behind anger and blame:
(For the basic Faster EFT meridian tapping procedure, see