The Blame Game Takes Away Our Power

by Lyndra on August 20, 2017

Another wife and I joked about the convenience of living with a husband who can be blamed for anything that disappears or goes wrong in the house. While not proud of it, I admit that whenever I can’t find something at home, my knee jerk response is to think that my husband Dale must have moved or taken it! Dale admits that is true at least some of the time. But what strikes me is the ease in automatically blaming someone else. I know I’m not alone in this attitude.

Blame keeps us stuck in being a victim. It can be so subtle and seem so justified. I’ll give you an example from my own life.

Yesterday I came home from a long, tiring day at work. I could immediately tell from Dale’s facial expression (poor guy isn’t able to hide anything from me) that he was stressed and unhappy. When I asked what was wrong, he explained that his quiet backyard sanctuary had been violated by the unceasing sound of our neighbor’s power saw when the neighbor decided to go out at the same time as Dale.

Dale and I don’t see eye-to-eye about this neighbor and I immediately got triggered. Fortunately, I had the sense to tell Dale I was feeling reactive and it was best if I didn’t speak for a while. After supper I even needed to give myself a timeout to get my emotional grounding back.

Initially all I could do was blame Dale and I felt completely justified in doing so. I silently rehearsed the “words of wisdom” I was going to share with him about his “bad attitude.” After all, it was a loving wife’s duty to help her husband be a better person, right? WRONG!  

Fortunately, I’ve learned that no good thoughts, words or actions come when I’m feeling triggered. One of the best strategies for calming my emotionally reactive self is to do a spiritual exercise and sing HU. (There’s a wonderful video about HU you might enjoy.) It took a while for it to work. I sang HU for a few moments and then unconsciously resumed my silent judging and reprimanding Dale. Then I’d catch myself and sing HU again. Back and forth between blaming and HUing.

Finally a positive shift occurred. Then I saw it with loving clarity: I was angry with Dale for judging our neighbor rather than being grateful and that’s exactly what I was doing. I concluded that I didn’t want to waste another moment of my precious life being in a bad mood. In spite of Dale being upset, I thought about the fact that I had come home to a cleaner house, errands run and supper cooked because of my beloved Dale! Instead of thinking Dale should be more grateful, I was! And it totally shifted my mood and state of being. I was able to rejoin Dale and thank him for all he does for me and we had a lovely evening together.

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