by Julie Redstone –
Blame is the ego’s way of protecting itself from feeling helpless. It arises in situations of frustration and deprivation, and instead of allowing us to feel grief-stricken or filled with loss or sorrow in a way that would help us heal, blame creates an active component of feeling – a sense that there is something we can do about the distressing circumstances we are dealing with. By engaging with blame, we tell ourselves that we are taking an active step in asking that justice prevail, or that others who are the cause of our distress become different.
Here, it is important to separate two things: the desire that circumstances that cause pain, suffering, or deprivation be different, and the energy of anger or blame which we bring to the situation. For this energy, instead of being useful to us in a larger sense, ends up using us so that we do not see the full picture of how to work within the situation or what changes within ourselves the situation might call for.
This is the truer version of life’s opportunity in relation to situations of deprivation or pain – that we find within ourselves a willingness to trust and to align with the positive in life rather than the negative, by being willing to absorb our own pain, and instead of sending back into the world more pain that others can receive from us, to hold our own pain within ourselves and send back good instead.
This attitude may feel like it is beyond us, especially in instances where pain seems too great or deprivation or loss too severe. At such times, it is necessary to pray for an enlargement of the heart so that it can become big enough to hold what needs to be held, knowing that it is possible with Divine help. For this is the challenge of deprivation and sacrifice, not that we accept it in the sense of doing nothing to change the external conditions that may have led to it, but that we become able to find a measure of enlargement within ourselves so that we can bear pain without creating more of it for others. We do this not because we wish to suffer, but because we are identified with the lot of all in life, not just with our own lot.
In addition to this motive, another arises from the fact that blame and anger take from us precious energy and focus that would otherwise be able to contribute to the forward motion of our own lives in immediate ways – in decision-making, in planning, in imagining, and in just being able to be in the present in an ease-full way. Often, hidden from our waking consciousness, yet active, the negative energies that we hold within ourselves are disturbances to our own sense of peace. Sometimes we can feel them directly as eruptive anger or as another disturbing emotion. At other times, they operate as a wound below the surface of perception that cannot be healed because it has been left unattended.
The place of peace lies in the freedom to choose which emotional currents we will permit in our emotional house, and which we will leave behind. Those who seek peace must seek also to let go of the desire for anything that would conflict with this goal. The mind may not know how, but the heart knows the way. To begin to create peace within the heart, it is necessary to lay down one’s arms, metaphorically speaking, and to determine to live in a way that is blame-free. When the heart truly desires this, the soul will find a way to teach the lessons of peace and the mind will progressively learn to accommodate.
May all beings who seek peace in the world find rest in the knowledge that it already lies within them, waiting to be found.