Mindful Monday: Blame, Self-Pity, and Freedom

"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

I'm normally not a big Wayne Dyer fan, but he has a point here. We blame our parents, our children, our employers or co-workers, teachers, elected leaders, and others for just how screwed-up our lives have become. We look around, sometimes desperately, for whom to blame for our struggles. Sometimes, even more destructively, we go inward and blame ourselves for perceived weaknesses, flaws, and mistakes.

I've been a big blamer of self, others, illnesses, and circumstances. Increasingly, though, when I'm in the thick of finding fault with everyone around me for the unhappiness, depression, or anxiety I feel, it occurs to me that perhaps the problem is not with others but with myself. The trick here is not to fall into blaming oneself, too, because that's a nasty morass from which it is difficult to emerge.

Instead -- when I can remember, that is -- I'm experimenting with cutting off the storyline of "poor, poor, pitiful me," hard done by others' actions or my own mistakes, and drifting away from the harsh words of my inner Critic. She murmurs or shouts nearly constantly. What does that asshole know? She's a parasite who lives to serve only herself and keeps her host -- me -- in bondage. I imagine her shackling words blowing apart and past me, swept away by a refreshing breeze wafting up from Puget Sound through a screen door on a warm, summer day, leaving peace and awareness behind. It is a helpful image requiring much practice when (self-) blame and pity run deep.

Although I no longer identify as a Christian, I recognize, honor, and cherish its wisdom tradition. Today, Paul's words ring true: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (Galatians 5:1).

What are you noticing about the prospect of freedom?

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for Mindful Monday

© July 14, 2014, post: Donna Pierce
Photo credit: Lindsey Wasson, The Seattle Times, July 13, 2014

#mindful #monday #findingGod

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