13. Do You Blame Or Take Responsibility?

The desire to blame is embedded within our society. It seems that it’s always someone else’s fault.

It starts on a wide front with blaming the government and the people who we think control us, the military, corporations and those who hold most of the money. This comes out in an extreme form through the many conspiracy theories around. It finishes in our relationships where we fight each other, blaming each other for everything that’s wrong.

When did people stop taking responsibility for their lives, for what happens to them? So often men seem to think that everything they do is ok and that what’s wrong cannot be their fault. Demanding rights we forget responsibilities, one does not exist without the other.

Do you take responsibility, do you know what those responsibilities are?

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own
destiny.”

(Albert Ellis)

For a long time I blamed my ex-wife’s alcoholism for the destruction of my marriage.

It took me years to accept my role in the chaos of our married and family life. She was the alcoholic, she was to blame. But I came to see that my anger in reaction to the situation was so destructive. I realised that my attachment to blame was creating the intolerable situation.

I, eventually, detached from what was happening and took back control of my life, of my reactions. I was the only one to blame for what happened to me. I was not responsible for the alcoholism, that was my ex-wife’s problem, but I was responsible for me and my involvement. Once I let go of blame I was able to move on and re-build my life.

This enabled others to move on as well. My life involved others and my blame held them in my web. Seeing me take responsibility for myself turned them back on themselves.

  • What are you holding on to that you blame someone else for? What do you think is happening in your life that is someone else’s fault?
  • How much do you blame other people for difficulties? How much do you fight with your partner as you try to apportion blame for what is happening?
  • How much do you take responsibility for yourself and your life? To what extent do you feel your situation in life is your responsibility?
  • What do you need to take responsibility for, right now, in yourself? How are you going to do this and acknowledge it in yourself?

Other Posts in the series 'Dealing With Chaos'

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