Blame vs. Responsibility

“A genuine relationship is one that is not dominated by the ego with its image-making and self-seeking. In a genuine relationship, there is an out-ward flow of open, alert attention toward the other person in which there is no wanting whatsoever. That alert attention is Presence. It is a prerequisite for any authentic relationship. The ego always either wants something or if it believes there is nothing to get from the other, it is in a state of utter indifference: It doesn’t care about you. And so, the three predominant states of an egoic relationship are: wanting, thwarted wanting (anger, resentment, blaming, complaining), and indifference.” — Eckhart Tolle

This statement is packed with great stuff. Did you notice that blaming is one of the reactions of the unaware or egoic mind which is in the “thwarted wanting” state? What is blame? No really, what does it mean “to blame.” According to Webster it is, “to find fault with” or “to hold responsible.” That is just about what I would have expected to find.

When we are in a relationship (or after one) what place does blame have? Can someone else literally force us to do anything? I would propose that the answer is “no.” Even under the threat of death can we truly be forced to do anything? I think what often happens is we are presented with a choice. We make a selection, sometimes from a place of total unconscious programming (beliefs, values, identity, etc.) which we justify consciously will move us closer to the life we think we want; or at least we will avoid pain (sometimes the least painful option) or at best give some pleasure or security. The reality — the results we are left with here in the real world — are often very different from what we were looking for.

Once we become aware of the reality of our situation, sometimes from experiencing something painful — or a wake up call if you will — we find ourselves up to our eyeballs in the stinky stuff and we wonder, “How the hell did I get here?! WHO is responsible for this?!” If we are truly honest with ourselves the only real answer is “I AM.” Those two words hold the key to true freedom. I AM… responsible for this. Because it is not until we admit to ourselves, we are response-able (able to respond vs. react) for the results we are experiencing, that we are empowered to make changes and experience different results down the road. If we continue to place blame or responsibility outside ourselves, then we are living at the effect of others, of the world around us and are helpless to change things. When we take responsibility, we own our current results and those in the FUTURE.

Tony Robbins says when we encounter a challenge or a problem there are really only two options: blame or solution. Blame is living at the effect. Solution is living at cause.

I would also like to point out that there is no real benefit to getting stuck blaming ourselves for the choices and decisions we have made up to this point. Look at them; take responsibility for all of them, “good” and “bad” alike. Learn from them. When we learn something from an experience it looses the “good” or “bad” label and becomes a beneficial experience.

When we truly learn the lessons our identity expands and we have more to offer those we love and the world at large. Are you carrying around hurt or pain from a past relationship or past choices? What choices could you now take responsibility for and learn from in order to transform them into an asset vs. the energy and life sucking liability they have been so far?

Remember, the future has yet to be written, write yours on purpose!

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