As often happens, certain words seem to make an appearance in my life and then continue to pop-up until I’ve taken the time to truly, madly, deeply to get to know and understand what these words have to teach me. One of these words right now is BLAME.
This word first came into my awareness with THIS RadioLab story (I have shared this before but if you haven’t listened, it is well worth listening to!).
Next, a conversation with a friend who’s work in the legal field takes her through the very gray waters of blame and fairness on a daily basis.
Then while researching another word (coming in another post soon) Brene Brown (another favorite) tells me that blame is a way to discharge pain & discomfort.
And, lastly, yesterday I stumble across this little gem in Shambhala Sun:
“Blaming is neither true nor not true. It doesn’t take me even one tiny step closer to my or anyone else’s happiness or freedom… If we know who is at fault, maybe we can make sure that they don’t do it again. But blame doesn’t work that way. Assigning and taking responsibility provides an opportunity to change. It gives us choice and power. Blame negates responsibility. It end the sentence, closing off possibility.”
This same article shared a response from Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh: “You are partly right.”
This means that yes, there is some truth to the story, but it isn’t the whole story. This week, as I find myself blaming others or equally important, accepting praise, I will say to myself, “you are partly right.” A reminder that there are many more layers than we can possibly see, that our truths are colored by the individual mini-worlds that we live in, and that reality is something we are all working to see fully but can’t just yet.
At least, I think this is partly right…