Blaming "The Other Guy"
by Marie T. Russell
It's so easy for us to look to others to shoulder our guilt for occurrences in the past. We accuse our parents for our lack of self-esteem. We blame our siblings for our lack of motivation. We blame teachers for our unwillingness to express ourselves. And then later on, we place on our mate's shoulders the weight of our inability to sustain a loving relationship. Yet, who's to blame?
No one is to be blamed, yet there is a responsibility to be taken and it is ours and ours alone.
Who is responsible for the grief and sadness in our life? Who is responsible for the hurdles that we find ourselves facing? Who is responsible for the anger and resentments that we carry within? Who is responsible for the bubbling laughter and joy that arises also from within?
The word responsibility consists of two words 'response' and 'ability'. It is the ability that we have to respond in any way we choose to any given situation. You can respond with anger, or you can respond with acceptance and peace.
Let's suppose that a co-worker says something and you feel you were criticized. You may choose to feel hurt or you may choose to look at that person's comments simply as their perception of you. You have the ability to respond in any way you choose. You can respond defensively (or offensively), or you can choose to see that this co-worker is simply bringing you a message. You can then look at that message and see what truth there is in it for you and what you can learn from it.
Yet, on so many occasions in our lives, we have been quick to respond with anger, and claim that 'he/she made me angry'. An important thing to realize is that no one can "make you" angry except yourself. This attitude is very empowering. Someone could consciously try to make you angry, yet if you do not choose to respond with anger, that person's efforts would be unfulfilled.
Many times, I have seen in myself and in others a tendency to avoid taking responsibility for our own 'stuff' by placing the blame on someone else. 'If they hadn't done that, I wouldn't be angry...' 'If my mother had loved me more, I wouldn't be so withdrawn within myself...' 'If my brother hadn't pushed me around, I would be more willing to express myself...' Yet, in all situations, we, as the powerful beings that we really are, always have the choice of how we respond. It is always up to us, whether we choose to be sad or joyful, angry or understanding, fearful or trusting.
Even the occurrence of death presents us with a choice. Do we react with feelings of loss or do we instead focus on the liberation of that soul from the chains of earth? In confronting situations, do we only see one side of any situation or do we open ourselves up to understand and relate to the point of view of others? In an uncertain moment, do we give in to our feelings of doubt and fear, or do we surrender to the moment knowing that everything that comes to us is there for us to experience in whatever way we choose?
Yes, each one of us is 100% responsible -- able to respond in any way we choose. Why do some of us choose misery and pain? Do we feel the need to punish ourselves or others for events that have taken place in the past? We have the choice to respond to the past with forgiveness and through the light of understanding that we, and others, are not perfect and were indeed doing the best we could at that time. Any time someone acts in a way that you would judge negatively, remember that they are only doing what they feel they have to do at that moment. You have the choice of responding with an expression of compassion and forgiveness... or not.
Any feelings of negativity that you carry around are hurting you. These feelings are stored in your body and become like a rotting core of energy that poisons your every moment. Why encumber yourself with feelings of anger, hatred, and thirst for revenge? Any negative feelings you harbor do not hurt the person they are directed to; these feelings are hurting the person who is carrying them around -- you.
It is much better to empty ourselves of stored emotional hurts and fill ourselves instead with light, love, and compassion. We will feel much better when we are living in a clean, light-filled body. It's our choice... Let the light of love shine and make the darkness of unforgiveness and old resentments disappear. See the pain dissolve into well-being.