Friday, September 25, 2009

Always Someone To Blame.

From the ODAT, page 268:

"What would happen if we stopped blaming anyone for anything? We would experience miracles of tolerance and grace - rich spiritual rewards, reflected in a life of real fufillment."

If one is raised from a small child in an atmosphere of blaming and judgement, it can be quite the process to work towards achieving a mindset where blame isn't an option. I was taught that before one could begin to deal with any problem, first fault had to be assigned. It was very important to winkle out "who was to blame for this state of affairs."

There were long, involved conversations at the dinner table, most of which went over my head, as apart from being too young too understand, I was busy carving patterns into my mashed potatoes. But what I do remember, is the arguing that went on about who was at fault. It was the party in government at the time; no, it was the oppostion. It was Aunt Denise; no, it was Uncle Morrie. It was mine; no, it was my brother's. It was this neighbour; no it was the city, for not...yada yada yada. Someone had to be to blame.

There would be more arguments on the subject of "I told you it was so-and-so's fault, but you blamed such-and-such - now further events have made it clear that my assigning of blame was correct, and yours was incorrect."

Blame, and fault, were of utter importance. In retrospect, I can understand that my adoptive mother was a very frightened person. I think she was immeasurably hurt when she was a small girl, and learned that the world is a terrifying and dangerous place, where one must always be on guard. Perhaps all that blaming, allowed her to feel as though she understood how the world worked, and therefore, could prepare and protect herself from pain.

I grew to adulthood with a tight grasp on that particular sentiment: "Someone is to blame for this; figure out who, and give them a tongue-lashing."

I was a tailor-made co-dependent, in that regard. When I began to grasp the program, and see that assigning blame just kept me hopelessly stuck, I turned to my sponsor and program friends for some way to remind myself of this. One night at a meeting, one member said that she had borrowed a saying her teenage son used when she was getting in a tizzy. He would say to her, "Mother, it is what it is, get over it!"

I loved that first bit - "It is what it is." That statement allowed me to have my feelings about an event, without needing to blame anyone for it. I could just tell myself, "It is what it is, and I need to let go."

When I use that phrase, I feel as though I'm discarding constricting beliefs about life, and can breathe more easily. If it is what it is, then I needn't bother myself about it. I can go about my daily round, doing whatever I can to make my world a better place. It's not my problem, not my responsibility, not my fault. It's not up to me to decide who did what to whom, and when, and what punitive measures should be assigned - that task belongs only to God, and he doesn't need my help.

When I don't assign blame, don't take sides, don't have an opinion on outside issues, my life is serene, and I'm a more pleasant experience for others.


  1. Your childhood dinnertime conversation sounded a lot like my childhood dinnertime conversation. The Blame Game was big in my childhood home -- and still is. I'm so glad for Al-Anon and that I'm learning how to not play that game any more. Thanks for a really good post!

  2. It is what it is-now let go. What a reminder I desperately needed today. Thanks