Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Blame Game

My morning meditation group is reading a book on forgiveness. Yesterday we read a chapter on The Blame Game, which i think i would like to memorize. Then yesterday afternoon, as i was teaching meditation at the county jail, one of my students talked about her relationship with another woman inmate, and how they were just playing a hurtful blame game with each other.

The blame game starts with you-statements. This is a way of throwing a hot potato at someone. Usually, the other person will throw it right back at you with another you-statement, and then the two of you are off to the races.

It takes extreme mindfulness to hold on to the hot potato and notice that it is hot and burning and that you feel angry or frustrated and that you want to say whatever is on the tip of your tongue. Stop. Stop and notice all those pains. Count to 10. Give yourself a moment to cool down. Try to drop the hot potato. Keep trying to let go of that hot-hot-hot potato.

Of course your feelings hurt. That is your pain. Notice that "they" did not cause your pain. You are causing your own pain by holding on to a painful idea. They condemned you. So what?

It's time for you to make a change. A change of habit. Probably a change in relationship. The pain will cease. But only when you stop resisting it.

The Blame Game is a game you are sure to lose. So stop playing it.