Hi there y'all....as I have spent a little time today putting together notes from a discussion group that was held yesterday...I thought why change anything? After all if you are reading this you will understand the fairly simple concepts contained within my notes. So here they are - un-edited. A summary of a discussion between a range of complementary practitioners and therapists of differing persuasions. I hope you may find some of it useful. If you would like to join this monthly discussion group please do get in touch.
Little note about the my notes: I hope nobody will be offended by these points of views - the notes are the result of discussion between a small group of people with different viewpoints - and may not represent your own views - and that is fine.
Subject: Closure on blaming yourself.
There were several examples of ‘blaming self’ discussed: Looking back and blaming self for something that in hindsight was appreciated as a regrettable choice of response to another person (example: saying something unkind to somebody), blaming self or other person for something that another person did that affected you (example: father left home), blaming self for something which was totally outside your control (example: being born and subsequent illness of mother). There were many examples. On a wider level we live in a society which uses blame a lot – it is not uncommon to read in newspapers that Mr/s X has been found guilty of this or that crime - and in our civilised society there is a need to protect others from those who would do ‘bad’ things (hurt, steal, etc.) by imprisoning or confining those found guilty of crime – to punish the guilty person but with the hope that the person can be rehabilitated.
Blaming Who?: The group explored ‘blame’, that is blaming one-self for something regretted or blaming others for a perceived wrong, and concluded that ‘blame’ serves no good purpose in itself – having said that some people find it easier to ‘move on’ with their life if they can lay the blame for specific problems on somebody else when you firmly believe this other person was responsible for what went wrong (although this idea may not align well with many spiritual or higher thought teachings). What was very clear is that on a personal level it is just as physically and emotionally harmful to self to carry with you blame for others for perceived wrong doing as it is to carry with you blame of self for having done/said something in the past that was now regretted.
Seeking Closure: This is about finding closure for ourselves from carrying the weight of blaming ourselves, or others, and there were a number of useful ways to do this. But – first must come the realisation that there is really no good reason to hold onto blame because it can only do physical and emotional damage to self in the long term and whilst it occupies your mind it reduces your ability to think in a rational and optimum way. However coming to this realisation is perhaps only the first step…knowing how to deal with the realisation is the next step and there are many ways to take this next step.
Beliefs and Secondary gain: To gain a wider understanding of Guilt and Blame it is worth exploring how holding on to blame (of self) can often support or underpin other beliefs. So for example you might believe you were to blame for your parents splitting up - as children often do because they hear arguments between parents which are about them. From this self blame (taken on often quite sub consciously) the child may have taken the further belief that they are intrinsically a bad and unlovable person and that is why their mother or father left the household. It is also worth exploring if there is a secondary gain from attributing blame to another … in other words by blaming the other person it may support the belief that you are a ‘victim’. If this is a belief you hold about yourself you will find more and more evidence to support this in all areas in your life.
Talking therapy: One way to deal with anger and guilt is by using various NLP techniques which are commonly used to help deal with negative emotions. One technique allows the practitioner to take the client back to revisit the event using a ‘timeline’ process…although revisited, the process allows the client to experience the event in a disassociated state so that the negative emotional experience is not revisited in its full strength. When revisited via ‘timeline’ the client can bring to the original experience a new and more enlightened understanding of what happened and as this is assimilated into the event the process makes space for negative emotions to be ’let go’ and the new learning and understanding is allowed to integrate from that point in time to the current moment and even future paced – and thus allows the client to find resolution. There are a number of NLP processes to help with anger, guilt, sadness, secondary gain, etc. but these will generally need the help of an NLP Practititoner. There are also other talking therapies which can help with this issue.
Write it down: Some people have found that by writing down the reasons why you blame another person for hurting you…writing it down in detail and holding no punches…this can help to externalise it and stops it rattling round inside your head. The written letter can be sent to the blamed one…but sometimes the process of writing it down is enough and sending the letter is not necessary. If you decide to confront the blamed one with their ‘mistake’ either by writing to them or face to face – that person will often deny their part in the situation in an attempt to protect themselves from feeling guilty about hurting you or another person. It is worth bearing in mind that confrontational conversations do not often get the desired result. It should also be noted that we mostly all operate from a point of justification for our actions.
Understanding the big picture: This is a method used to allow forgiveness of self or others. Forgiving another, or self, comes from having a fuller or deeper understanding of the history and true motives and thus a kinder view of why we/he did what we/he did. The belief is ‘If I understand more about why I/he behaved that way, what my/his personal history is, what my/his particular struggles are, then I will "understand," and then I can forgive me/him.
Responsible but not accountable: Looking at the issue of blame in a more spiritual, or higher thought, way one could understand that although you may have done or said something which you later regretted (was responsible for) – that in fact you were only responsible for what you said or did, not any possible repercussions (therefore are not accountable) for this. From taking responsibility for ones actions one can draw the lesson to prevent doing this thing again. However, in the same way that you would take responsibility for your actions the other person is responsible for their own actions and it is for them to find their lesson when they are ready to accept their responsibility.This will happen when they are ready...but perhaps not when it suits you.
Summary: It is the ‘human condition’ that we blame others for perceived wrongs…mostly without seeing our part in the whole scenario…further to this we may even project onto others our own guilt. To see past the ‘human condition’ requires meditation and insight and perhaps a teacher to guide you. There are many spiritual awareness courses and if an individual is seeking for a spiritually aware understanding of the ‘human condition’ which includes a deeper insight into guilt and blame and everything to do with humanity it is worth finding a teacher whose message resonates with you. Some of these more abstract teachings about blame and guilt can be found here: http://www.circleofa.org/articles/ForgivenessFallacies.php#.T1jPlBNwsPg.mailto. These teachings do not necessarily represent the thoughts of all our discussion group however we did explore these concepts and so they are placed here as a record of fact.
More about the discussion group can be found here http://www.jumpingmouse.org.uk/unstickyourself.html
If you would like to talk to a therapist or practitioner for help with any aspect please do get in touch and I can point you towards the therapist or practitioner that may be most suitable for you.