So many have the cultural training to blame oneself. Most people have habit of thought to wield blame in some way—either blaming some other institution, person or situation or taking blame on his or herself.
Even among people who are on the growth path, the mechanism of self-blame can operate – in ways less easy to spot.
Karla had an impulse to assist a friend. The friend accepted the offer on a message to an old-fashioned phone machine. Oh my, Karla did not retrieve the missive in proper timing—and the gift was not offered this time.
K has done some inner work and goes down that self blame pattern of thought much less frequently than earlier in her life. Yes she avoided doing major dramatic apologies or self-flagellation. Hmm our star found herself with a dipping mood. She noticed that a string of excuses ran in her head.
Then she observed herself coming up with thoughts that were finding fault with her friend. What was this!
Oh my, our heroine was worming out of settling down to accepting responsibility and making this “blip” ok. She was deflecting the bad feeling that might arise about her oversight and instead mentally turned to “blame” on another.
“Wait a minute!” Thought K, “I want to soften and make it all ok.”
And then she got clear. “ Accepting what happened was the way to go. I see now this incident is so minor!”
Meanwhile, a short time later, Karla received an email from the friend to whom the favor had been proffered that could not be more forgiving and gracious. What a joy that the friend was not at all offended and flowed with kind acceptance.
Yes Readers these circumstance are so inconsequential perhaps it is hard to relate. Would someone really get exercised or such a small transgression? Such an incident does illustrate the mechanism that operates when more serious “mistakes” occur.
Those who face self-blame know that it stings for any size blip.
At one time inside K prided herself that following through on situations like this were what constituted her goodness. made her a good person. If she did not, then.. then,…. She showed herself to be less “good”
But real self-worth is not so shallow or fragile. K wanted to sing out to the world—“Hey! We are all good anyway! We are composed of Goodness and We beam it out more when we focus on GOOD”
Is it a joy to follow through on doing a favor for a friend? Yes it is. And our self-image and knowing of Good allows us to flow with life and accept some pot holes on the way.
Is it valuable to notice what we are thinking as we breathe in and out? Yes it is! We have so much power to wield to shape our lives!