Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see this world. ~ George Bernard Shaw
When we’re working on ourselves, it’s a challenge to keep the focus where it will do the most good. If you’re like me, you’ve probably noticed a lot of “they” or “them” in your reflections and the hardest thing to do is to keep it all about “me”.
Even in current events I believe that we are being asked, every moment of our life: “What are you going to do? Blame “them” or “go inside?” As a result, if we choose to blame them, next time the incident will be bigger. How it will look — God only knows, but I do believe it will be bigger.
For example, someone cuts you off driving down the freeway — what are the feelings and thoughts that come up? “Nothing” you say? It’s just the other guy being a jerk — Ok. What about the next-door neighbors playing their music too loud? Are they “just being inconsiderate”? Or your friend says something to you that you don’t like, telling you what to wear, how to talk, how to look, what he thinks of the person in the “other” department … and so it goes. What then? More important, what do you do about it? Do you tell them where to get off? Do you swear, call someone a jerk, tell them they are rude, uneducated, or worse?
Where does all of this reactionary language and emotions come from? We’re justified because…fill in the blank. Right? Of course it’s a valid reaction because they did something to cause you (me) distress right? However, the distress is fear. On some level there is a fear that our chosen way of life or our very existence is being threatened.
But what if it were about you NOT them? If it’s about them, you can’t change the event(s). The only one you can change is yourself. I know.
It’s so easy to let ourselves off the hook of true responsibility. Today we even have a medical term for road rage — IED — Intermittent Explosive Disorder, so named by the National Institute of Mental Health, which goes so far as to say that road rage is not the drivers’ fault. Herein lies society’s problem: it’s far too easy to justify our reactions. If you truly want to be happy, to experience real freedom, take a closer look at your actions and own them.
To help you out – here’s a little tool that I’ve used to really highlight what is going on…
If you allow “blame” language to continue in your thoughts or conversation you may find that progress will be stymied.
Do you remember in school doing an exercise with a matrix where you mixed and matched different words? If so – the following example will be familiar to you. Look at the example in the sentence below using words from the Blame Matrix© below and see if some form of these sentences shows up in your day-to-day existence:
I <insert What> because <insert Who> <insert Action> (to) me.
I <insert What> because I am (too) <insert Why>.
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