Sometimes I can be so quick to place blame…do you ever experience that tendency?
I just walked into the house and found cupboards open and stuff strewn about.
This is so ANNOYING!
I shake my fists at the dogs, looking soooo innocent and sweet…
THIS is why I no longer give them free reign in the house when I’m gone! …except just now, evidently.
And then I realized that the mess wasn’t all them: I am the culprit behind the white hutch doors being left open and my milk frother being strewn all over.
THAT was me.
Oof. Acknowledging my role in what appears to be a mess is quite humbling. It reminds me that I am just as imperfect as the one I am shaking my fist at.
In this situation, it happened to be my dogs. But how often is it another person - another human, just trying to figure this life thing out - on the other end of my fist?
In this situation, I literally did play a direct role in the mess that I had walked into. But how often do I forget that I've actually been there? I've done a similar thing, said a similar thing, reacted in a similar way to what I am presently so frustrated with.
When I PAUSE and create space between the flare of emotion and a blaming reaction, I create space for transformation. In this space, awaits an opportunity to see myself in the other person. This is the path of love, through empathy and compassion.
This space also creates an opportunity to be in alignment and integrity with my highest and best self. This can be the tricky one, because it asks me to be responsible for my actions. Self-responsibility is not something our egos super love, and it isn't something that society deems remarkable. Yet self-responsibility is hugely transformational and empowers us to be in alignment and integrity within our own selves.
When Have I? + Is it Possible?
The next time you feel the impulse to blame another heart for something that you find unbelievably annoying or frustrating, consider when you have actually done the exact same thing. Perhaps in that instance, perhaps in a different instance. Perhaps it looked and sounded very similarly, perhaps it looked and sounded very differently.
Either way, I am 99.9% certain you have committed the same grievance you are impulsed to hold against someone else. You can roll your eyes at me, I know it can be hard to hear.
Why am I so certain? Because I’ve been testing this theory on myself for the past few years and it has proven true EVERY time.
Again, it might not look or sound exactly the same, and it might not play out in the exact same way. And still, the invitation is to consider when I have been in their shoes.
To help me consider, I like to ask When have I questions. For example:
When have I left things undone and someone else cleaned up behind me?
When have I made a choice without asking for someone else’s opinion who has a stake in the matter?
When have I said something in the heat of the moment that later I realize is not true at all?
When have I made decisions from a place of fear instead of faith?
Sometimes, when it seems so far off that I could have EVER done ANYTHING even REMOTELY as asinine as what it seems someone else has done, I ask myself Is it possible questions. For example:
Is it possible that MAYBE I have forgotten to refill the toilet paper roll before?
Is it possible that I HAVE said something like that before?
Is it possible that there WAS a time when I was focused on myself and missed hearing what they really needed?
Have a Seat at the Honesty Table
When we are willing to pause between the flare of emotion and a blaming reaction, we create space for transformation. In that space, we can consider When have I + Is It Possible questions.
As we approach the questions with honesty, we will likely see our own humanity as not too different from the one we are glaring at. There is a softness to this, an acceptance that...Holy Shit! We really are ALL doing our best! And if I want others to own up to their shit, I also get to own up to mine...even if they aren't ready to own up to theirs... (we'll talk about that more another time, don't worry).
When we sit at the honesty table, acknowledging what is so, we realize we have a greater capacity for empathy and compassion and our ability to take responsibility for what is ours has increased. Boy, could our world benefit from that!
All we need to do is:
👉🏽 PAUSE when we notice the impulse to blame.
👉🏽 Ask: When Have I? • Is it Possible?
👉🏽 Acknowledge: It Was Me; I've been there, too.
With love and compassion for our human condition,
Rachel Sartori is a Transformational Coach + Facilitator. She is kick-ass and heart-centered whether she is showing up as a workshop/retreat facilitator, a private coach, a writer or a speaker. Rachel invites you to exercise your soul, and participate in the healing of your own heart and the world around you. With Rachel, all is welcome, all the time.
Take The Flight of Your Life, an empowering and transformational 2-day retreat. October 7 + 8, 2022 in Scottsdale, AZ.