Blame Looks Backwards, Responsibility Looks Forwards February 10, 2015
After an argument or disagreement it helps to remember that blame is looking backwards while responsibility is looking forwards. To get over the argument and get back on solid ground it takes two people to have the courage to move away from blame; to claim responsibility for their actions and emotional reactions. It’s at the heart of healthy communication to be able to identify and state your feelings, needs, wants, and desires respectfully and to hear the other person in kind.
Same holds true for the past. When holding others in judgment over the past with blame, it more effectively holds the person blaming from moving forward emotionally and letting go. It’s like punishing oneself for someone else’s wrong. Taking responsibility for oneself by naming and owning our feelings, our emotional reactions, and our behaviors allows for forgiveness of ourselves and eventually others. Forgive ourselves for what? you might ask. For holding ourselves hostage, rendering ourselves emotionally stagnant related to unresolved issues or wrongs committed against us—such as being disrespected, played a fool, rejected, abandoned, dismissed, neglected, abused, the list goes on and on. Forgiveness is more of an act of love and respect for oneself.
Holding on to hate and blame has a boomerang effect. Though hate is projected outward, it holds one in emotional judgment inward, and impacts their present and others around them. Think of a person you know who strongly hates someone or something? Do you ever notice their kernel of self-hatred by displays of sabotaging behaviors, self-deprecation, or just plain negativity? Self-hatred, victimization, and self-loathing feed on continued hatred while love fulfills the self and emanates out to others. Think of someone you know who emanates love. Who might you think they hold in judgment? Very few people, if any, because they have reconciled their negative feelings and judgments.
If you are having a hard time letting go of negative emotions such as blame or judgments from the past, contact me for a free consultation to see if I can help move you from looking backwards to looking forwards toward reconciliation.1