Monday, April 22, 2013
The Bummer of Blame
The bummer of blame is that when we are pointing the blame at someone else, those fingers left pointing at us are often most correct. The blessing of knowing this is that it's much easier to change ones self than to change somebody else. That means, once we realize that the problem we are having is really ours, we can fix it! I find this very empowering. I learned that when we are blaming someone else, it is usually to help us not feel so guilty for something we think we should or shouldn't have done. Learning this helped me to solve a problem I had been struggling with for years.
Derek loves to play with our children, and I love this about him. I, however, often feel guilty that I find it hard to enjoy playing with them in the same way. It's something I always think I need to work on, and be better at. In the Summer, Derek often invites our children to go outside to play, but he hasn't usually invited me by name like he does them. When he invited the kids to go play, I would have a quick thought that I should go too, but I never went. I would excuse myself because somebody had to clean up after dinner, and Derek didn't invite me. I would clean up, grumbling about how they were outside enjoying the weather and I was stuck doing the work.
I blamed this on Derek. He should have invited me. I got so frustrated that I talked to Derek about it. I felt left out. Couldn't he invite me too? He said that he had thought I would enjoy the break, but I was always welcome. I thought if everyone would help with the dishes THEN I would go. But this didn't really work either. Then I read the book The Bonds That Make You Free. I read about blame, and I realized that for years I had been blaming Derek because I had thought I should go play, and I chose not to, and I felt guilty. I was looking for an excuse for not going outside with the kids like I thought I should.
Once I realized what I had been doing, it was an easy fix. I just consciously made the choice to do what I thought I should do. On reflection, I also decided that I don't need to go outside every time in order to be a good Mom, and so sometimes I choose to stay inside, and not feel guilty. What a blessing! Reading that book was worth it just for this one thing! So, the bummer of blame, for me, didn't end up being much of a bummer after all, but the key to fixing the problem!
*Picture from Wick Ahrens at http://homepages.sover.net/~mobywick/plaques/PointingHand.html