"Blame is protection. It's easy to protect yourself by blaming others. It allows one to maintain an illusion of themselves. If 'it' is someone else's fault you don't have to look at yourself closely." (someone anonymous but very wise)
This was in a message during an email exchange with a good friend. We were discussing how things are going in our lives. We didn't get into specifics, but rather the experience of the experiences and what we hoped to get out of those experiences (really, it does make sense, if you think about it...and I do a lot of that...thinking.) Anyhow, this was the last of several back and forths, and it really spoke to me.
Blame has been a big topic in my experiences over the past year or so. I've been exploring the concept from both sides, and I am oh so grateful for what I've learned. Because it really is true: in the long run, there is no blame to be laid. Other people do not have the power to influence our thoughts, opinions, actions. We have that power. We have the power to choose how we react to what we hear, see, feel, and experience. The most important thing we can do in any given situation that causes pause is to directly and respectfully go to the source. Not the subsource, or the best friend that will surely see things our way and bolster our self-righteous indignation.
The difficulty comes when that source, for whatever reason, will not allow the conversation/confrontation/discussion to happen. Then we are faced with the real possibility that the blame-game will continue. Or, the conversation happens and the blame is still laid at your feet. Either way, it is up to us to do the deep work, and realize that the burden of the situation is no longer ours. To say we don't care is probably not true. On some level, if we tried to have the conversation, we care. It might be for selfish reasons (no one likes to be disliked or judged unfairly), or it might be that we truly care and want to salvage a friendship. Either way, we need to know that there is a time when it's best to pick up our toys and go home.
I do know what it's like to have friends think the worst of me. I know what it's like to have those friends accuse me of things that I know in my heart are not true. I've struggled with this on many levels. The bottom line is: I know. If you are honest with yourself, and you've been honest with those around you, then just rest in the knowing. There is really nothing else to be done.