Blame: assigning responsibility for a fault or wrong
When we are healing from childhood abuse, it is often necessary to revisit traumatic experiences. The emotional intensity we experience as we walk through these horrific memories can be excruciatingly painful. It is vital to our healing that we validate, comfort and overwrite the experience with a positive, affirming, safe person such as our adult self or other self-assigned powerful figure. Placing blame in its proper place- on the abuser, is often the easiest and quickest way to eradicate the self-blame and shame the child took on.
But although shifting blame can free us from a distorted, guilt-ridden conscience, it cannot lift us out of the victim paradigm. Fixing our minds on the person to blame will never allow us to be crowned Sovereign over our lives. Why? Because in order to rule over something, you have to own responsibility for it and for what happens to it. As long as you continue to blame something or someone else for anything in your life that you are not happy with, you have ultimately dethroned yourself. Anytime we place blame on someone or something for our current life situation it reflects a weakness- it speaks of a dis-empowered state of being.
I once heard someone say that whenever you point your finger at someone else, realize that there are three fingers pointing back at you. What are the three fingers of accusation rattling inside the soul of the one who blames another?
- I had no choice
- I had no power
- I am a victim
Perhaps these three things are valid concerning a helpless little child at the mercy of a much stronger, more powerful adult. But victim and victor are opposing forces. They do not coincide. A king or queen that has been dethroned is a victim. As long as they remain crowned they are the victor. If we are to take back our personal power, it begins with letting go of blame. As a child, you were at the mercy of your care takers. As an adult, you have choices- you can choose to:
- React or respond
- Give or take
- Love or hate
- Be proactive or reactive
- Tear down or build
- Heal or destroy
- Hope or despair
- Eat healthy or unhealthy
- Help or hurt
- Hide or be counted
and so much more!
Everyday is a new dawn to rise up to the challenge of life or to lay down and let life crush us.
When we blame others for how we feel, how we react, what we do or don’t do, we are essentially handing the scepter over to them. We are saying they have control over our lives.
Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her home at the tender young age of 14 and was held captive, being raped regularly for over 9 months. When she was finally rescued her mother encouraged her to not allow her abuser the right to one more minute of her life. Her wise words speak volumes to multitude of victims:
“Elizabeth, what this man has done is terrible. There aren’t any words that are strong enough to describe how wicked and evil he is! He has taken nine months of your life that you will never get back again. But the best punishment you could ever give him is to be happy. To move forward with your life. To do exactly what you want. Because, yes, this will probably go to trial and some kind of sentencing will be given to him and that wicked woman. But even if that’s true, you may never feel like justice has been served or that true restitution has been made… “You be happy, Elizabeth. Just be happy. If you go and feel sorry for yourself, or if you dwell on what has happened, if you hold on to your pain, that is allowing him to steal more of your life away. So don’t you do that! Don’t you let him! There is no way he deserves that. Not one more second of your life. You keep every second for yourself. You keep them and be happy. God will take care of the rest.”
So yes, it is important that the victim be absolved of blame for what happened to them. It is important to grieve the loss. But to continue on in life, blaming others for what we now have a choice in is to dis-empower ourselves.
If you truly want to take back your life, stop playing the blame-game!