When you blame others, you give up your power to change.
Mindful Love Thursday and Friday – Stop the blame
Yesterday morning, Ed and I left for long a long hike, 8.8 miles 2,300 foot elevation gain. When we got to the base of the mountain, realized I forgot my inhaler (I have mild asthma). I wasn’t about to turn back.
I learned a long time ago, one way to control my asthma is to go deep inside and calm myself down. I donned my head set, played some soothing music, and started my descent into my mind as I ascended up the mountain. With each step, I slowed my thoughts down, took deep breaths and listened. This is what I heard.
“Why didn’t Ed help more this morning, I wouldn’t have forgotten my inhaler…we had to rush to get out of the house that is why I forgot my inhaler…If only Ed would…I wouldn’t have forgotten my inhaler”
I was mortified at the cacophony of my background thoughts. Unless I had an agreement with Ed, I was the one responsible for putting my inhaler in my pack, not him.
If I was preoccupied with blame, I would have missed the beautiful views in the photo above!
Blaming others starts first in our subconscious thoughts, by the time it blurts out of our mouths; it usually has been brewing in our minds for a while.
But what about when horrible things just happen?
In the early 1980s, I worked at Children’s Hospital in Boston doing some of the first pediatric bone marrow transplants in the world. Our patients came to us as a last resort. All their other treatments failed.
During the three-month transplant process, our patients lived in completely sterile, eight foot by six foot rooms, We gave them medications that made them vomit and chemotherapy that gave them additional, debilitating side effects. Anyone entering their room had to wear sterile gloves, gowns and masks. It was just about the most challenging circumstance a parent could face. Eighty percent of our patients died.
One time, two teenagers were getting bone marrow transplants at the same time. Each had one sibling and came from the same socio-economic background with similar spiritual beliefs.
Family A fought constantly, blaming each other for trivial things, angry when things didn’t go their way.
Family B focused on making things tolerable and fun for their lovely teenage daughter. The recreational therapist taught her to create images that relaxed her body and mind. They did not blame themselves or others for their daughter’s illness and discomfort. The medical staff did not expect her to live more than three months.
Thirty one years later, she is alive, married and has three children. She still uses those images today to help her navigate through difficult times.
While no one can say creating positive images, dropping blame and providing a loving healing environment cured this patient, I am sure it helped everyone involved find peace and clarity in this difficult situation.
Train yourself to drop all blame.
Mindful Love Exercise Thursday and Friday
Sit for five minutes each day. Listen to your subtle, inner dialogue. When are you blaming things or people in your environment for your unhappiness? Can you stop blaming? Imagine what it would be like to have more control over your feeling of peace and contentment in life.