Today’s passage for contemplation comes from The First 30 Days by Ariane De Bonvoisin. In it, she says:
“By blaming yourself, you become stuck in old patterns, old emotions, and old ways of looking at life. Blame distracts you from looking at the facts, free from emotion. And so it keeps you from doing what needs to be done—making changes in how you look after your health, learning to handle your finances, packing up and moving, or forgiving someone. Stop telling yourself, I should have done this or I should have said that. What’s the point? Blame has never helped anyone achieve anything.
The real question, then, is What can I do now?”
Blame is abusive. Bottom line. It’s a game we never win.
It is classic victim-mode thinking.
Whenever we blame ourselves, we give up our power to create. We get distracted. We remain stuck. We avoid taking responsibility for ourselves — our health, our finances, our relationships, our daily living — all of this gets sloppy.
It’s like stepping into quicksand. The more you struggle, the quicker you sink.
When we blame ourselves, we are saying to the Universe, “I’m no good. I can’t do anything right. I’m a loser.” Each blaming thought is a shovel-load of shame we heap upon ourselves, reinforcing our predicament. The Universe, in wanting to bring us what we dominantly think about, gets our message and springs into action, bringing us more of the same.
But according to this passage, there is one small step to take to save ourselves. It instructs us to “Stop telling [ourselves], I should have done this or I should have said that.” Actually, this is more than instruction; it’s an imperative, meaning it’s a command to examine our self-talk, which is absolutely vital if we are to save ourselves from sinking further into the pit of blame and shame.
Stop with the shoulds. And replace them with coulds. Any time you find yourself saying, “I should do ___________________,” replace it with “I could do _____________________.” Feel the difference? That shift in energy puts you back in control.
One thing Ariane suggests in her book is to “take the twenty-four hour no-blame challenge.” Go a day without placing blame on yourself or others, and see what happens. If twenty-four hours seems like too much, then start with a lesser amount of time.
Blame is a game for those who choose to lose. It monopolizes everything with its “Do Not Pass Go. Go Directly To Jail” card. But when we stop the blame by realizing our responsibility for what we have created and for what we can/could/will create, we free ourselves from our self-imposed prison.
We see the blame game for what it is. And then the game ends. We win. Boom.