I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about blame. What blame really means, and if blame even has a purpose in the world. To my mind, I prefer to avoid blame altogether. Is that a healthy posture to take? Probably not. That said, this posture did signal to me the need for deeper exploration into what blame actually is, how I see it, and what alternatives are available.
To blame, as I see it, is to assign ownership for an outcome to someone or something. This is usually done when the outcome is something we don’t like. In many cases we also blame ourselves, which can lead to a variety of other unresolved feelings towards ourselves, and a poor self image.
Rather than blame, I prefer to take ownership for the outcomes I can control, and to acknowledge the facts where the outcome is out of my control. To look for someone or something to blame, to me, is a clear signal of not wanting to see things as they are, and not wanting to take ownership over one’s own life. Regardless of who or what we feel is to “blame” for something, it is our choice whether or not we wish to let that take hold of us and consume our emotions.
Blame is so cruel. Cruel to others, and cruel also to ourselves. Without imbuing emotion onto blame, blame is also a catalyst. A reminder to us to take ownership of our own life and our own choices. To choose blame is to ignore what is, and to choose rather to have someone else be deemed responsible for correcting the outcome. What if we instead owned our own experience of the outcome? What if we instead ask better questions? How might I correct the outcome I’m seeing? How might I learn from this experience?
These questions put us on a forward-moving course which blame can never match.