What happens if I don’t place blame?
This was an interesting experiment and it’s also a bit out there, especially if you’re someone focused on “justice” and people “getting their due” (what’s coming to them). It’s very passive and yet the vulnerability of it all lends it it’s strength. An eye for an eye vs turn the other cheek… while holding boundaries and not being a doormat.
Many things go into living life this way. It certainly can’t all be conveyed in a half hour post/video but I’m going to touch on as much as I can and encourage you to put it all through the YOU filter and see how it can apply to your own life, to whatever depth you choose.
If you want to save some time, not placing blame makes your life lighter and easier to cope with. There are some mental gymnastics required in the beginning but, if you’re able to adjust your perspective, put my story through your YOU filter, you may be able to find ways to apply this to your own life and experience that lightness and flow for yourself. You may see yourself only doing one of these things, or two; but, once you start, the others become more transparent and easier to see; they somehow just… make sense and then you can’t unsee.
What happened – accountability – seeing your part in it all:
First step towards this way of thinking was when my 15 year marriage ended. My ex read my one of my personal journals and on one of the pages he wrote, “Only when you see your part in this will it change.” (or something like that) And, I was really mad lol, that he got into my personal business and had the audacity to write on it. But the words dug into my brain. They were intended to put blame on me. As if it was my “fault” all the horrible things in my life happened to me, that I “deserved” them. It wasn’t the first time he said something along those lines but this time I realized; he was right… not that I “deserved” these things but that the entire bad marriage, and many of the other untenable situations in my life, were my fault… because I stayed. I kept participating in the drama. I kept hoping it would get better. I kept being a doormat and he was all too pleased to let me. If you keep playing the game, the game keeps on going until you die. If you need help coping with the judgement of others, try this: http://goingbeyondcoping.com/what-happens-if-i-dont-accept-the-judgment-of-others/
What it led to – making better choices with whom I give my time to:
So, setting “fault” aside I looked into what about me made it possible for those types of relationships to exist (lack of boundaries primarily). There’s a lot to it but boiled down to the nitty gritty – it takes realizing, if your life is full of drama and toxic people, you are the only one who can do something about that. It’s not your “fault” but it is your responsibility. You can’t change toxic people, and many times it seems impossible to get away from them. But, all these years later (8), I am surrounded by loving, caring and thoughtful people who work with me, and I with them, to have a happy life filled with laughter. No toxicity warnings needed; no games played. It may take you years to get there but, if you work on it diligently, you might just make it.
What happened – accountability + understanding:
The second step for me came when I was in a very high-pressure job. I am a contract worker, only physically capable to work about 24 hours a week. With 9 disorders my self-care is a part time job I don’t get paid for, but must do in order to be able to do the 24 hours I do get paid for. With this position I was responsible for a ridiculous number of things shoved into a very tiny work week. My to-do list always had at least 20 things on it and the usually only the most important things got seen to, speed and accuracy were of the essence.
When something went wrong, the person in charge would react poorly. It often affected my irrational situation cataplexy. As I’m an experimenter, I dug deep into figuring out how to manage my responses to this person. I tell my kids all the time – there are always going to be people you don’t mesh with that you need to be around and developing (and enforcing) boundaries helps so much with that. I know who I am and what I’m capable of and outside of that, I’m just named Super, I’m not actually *super* lol.
The crunch inevitably led to mistakes. At some point, I got tired of what would transpire when a mistake was made. I started taking full accountability for errors. “I” made the mistake, this is how it happened, this is what we can do about it, this is how I can help try to keep it from happening in the future.” Period, the end. I was really pushing myself to perform all of these critical tasks in a short period of time, the mistakes were too inevitable to beat myself up for them lol, I’d be beaten every day if that were the case. So, I was accountable and understanding – of myself, of the other person, of the situation, the environment, everything.
What it led to: feeling liberated and no more sour stomach when I make a mistake.
Accountability is liberating. It doesn’t feel like it in the beginning but it’s like a new shoe. Try it on and wear it often and eventually you become so comfortable with the knowledge that you’re merely a human being, and humans make mistakes, that you stop having symptoms when you make them (if that’s something that happens to you.) It may take a few times, so keep practicing!
There’s a lot of fear involved in trying this one on because you don’t want to lose your job, right? So, it’s important to be respectful about it all. Now, two years later, I still get that momentary panic when I make a mistake, but it’s quickly soothed by my accountability formula and the knowledge that everyone makes mistakes. Living this way also has helped me look at others the same way I look at myself.
No one makes mistakes “on purpose” that’s why their called “mis takes.” If you can believe that you didn’t make the mistake on purpose, you can look at how to fix it, figure out how to keep it from happening again… you automatically believe that of others. If you can see your own humanity, you can see the humanity of others. This is why I’m always beating the “know yourself” drum. It’s critical for acceptance and makes all these other lessons so much easier to learn to know yourself and to believe in that self.
OK so, so far we’ve established that – if your life is filled with drama, you are responsible for that because you continue to participate/stay (the fact that you may not be able to extricate yourself from those people or situations AT THIS MOMENT, is secondary). And, that when you make a mistake – at work, at home, with friends or out in the world at large, it’s freeing to understand that humans make mistakes and it’s liberating to apply the accountability formula, to own it and look for ways to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
What happened: removing blaming anyone, including myself, from my life (this was almost a natural progression from the other two things)
The third step for me was not blaming anyone, including myself. This is hard in a work environment. I admit freely I’m not the best manager of people because my own work ethic puts my expectations very high. So, first thing I always remind myself is that, the person who made the mistake isn’t me (in terms of who I am as a person, not that I’m not the one who made the mistake lol) but, I employ my Understanding.
If you live by the accountability formula – what happened, how it happened, how to prevent it from happening again – you can come to understand HOW the people made the mistake. It really helps when you can solve a problem without tanking anyone’s self-esteem. Everyone makes mistakes. Too many though and you’re out on your ear, so I always try to leave the person who made the mistake out of any conversations with superiors, and to give them more lessons in how the company wants things done (not me, the company). If you’re going to your boss with the accountability formula about the mistake – they may not even ask who did it, and then you don’t have to name anyone; but understand, naming the person who made the mistake is NOT blaming them. It’s a tricky difference but it’s a difference. “Susan was on QC on this one,” is not the same as saying, “It was Susan’s fault.”
What it led to: finding kind ways to correct mistakes with others
I really dislike telling people when they’ve done something wrong. By focusing on they didn’t do it the way “the company wants it done,” it took the pressure off of me telling them what they did wrong. Example: “This excel spreadsheet is great but please review your notes about how the company wants them formatted, we want to make sure we’re giving them what they want.” No blame, no shame, just the fact ma’am. 😊
What happened: attempting to ignore mistakes/ misstatements/ things/ opinions done incorrectly/ wrong
The fourth step for me came with letting go of the need to point out when people make mistakes (both online and at home lol). It was a habit developed from a Sheldony “know it all” unsocialized type of childhood and years of living with someone who rarely did what they were supposed to do/said they would do, and raising three actual children. I was a nag of the highest order.
The best way to stop being a nag is to stop spending time around people you feel the need to nag lol, which I did. I couldn’t do that with my children, obviously, so I simply told them… the longer it takes for you to do what you’re supposed to/were told to do, the more the nag builds inside of me. It’s not that I need to control you, it’s that I need the dishwasher empty so I can take the dirty dishes out of the sink and make dinner. Your not doing your chore, is a wrench in my gears. Sure, I could just “do it myself” and I have plenty of times, but that’s not parenting – that’s just being a doormat. You want your kids to grow up with accountability and understanding? It’s your job to teach it to them. “You teach people how to treat you.” (that’s another one of those things that sounds like woo woo baloney until you apply it and it works and you can see that it’s true)
What it led to: more peace in my home and life in general
More accountability in the household, deeper friendships online and in person. Letting go of the need to be “right” or “heard” in instances where it really didn’t matter. And, there are very few places it does lol. You have to walk your own path on that one. Do you really *need* to correct the person? Correcting isn’t exactly placing blame but I found the two swim in the same pool, if you know what I mean…
The last thing I learned initially in the beginning and it’s really deepened since then to include more instances from my past.
What happened: Letting go of the past/failure and the mental clutter connected to it.
Everything that happened, happened. You can’t change the past. All you can do is learn from it, move forward and try to make good choices. Beating yourself up accomplishes nothing good. You need your own encouragement. Don’t leave yourself hanging, don’t hang yourself out to dry. Live right now. It’s all you have. Embracing what is. If you haven’t read/watched my piece on mental clutter, you can check it out here: http://goingbeyondcoping.com/what-happens-if-i-dont-live-with-clutter/
I’m gonna wrap this here. It’s a lot to digest so consider reviewing it now and again in chunks. Getting on top of the things that irritate us mentally goes a long way toward helping you cope with piloting a faulty meatsuit. There is no instruction manual, you have to write your own, and you can’t do that until a) you really know yourself and b) you ‘see what this baby can do’ and run some experiments yourself.
What happens if I don’t place blame? Give it a try and find out for yourself. The only one who can make your life different… is you.
Make it a great day warrior, the choice is always YOURS.
As I was doing my sound check to shoot the video I realized I didn’t address blaming your chronic illness. So I added it to the end of the video, if you wanna just watch the end.