I really didn’t want to let this one into my cozy little mental cottage at all. I just got through picking up all the wadded tissues from Victim’s visit, and now this.
Blame is an angry dragon, first cousin to Victim, and she does breathe fire. The walls are scorched and sooty, and I will be a while washing them down.
Blame’s motto is, IT’S SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT.
I can’t be happy–Somebody Else is ruining my life.
I can’t (read: won’t) take responsibility for my situation–I wouldn’t be like this, if it weren’t for that Somebody Else. I wouldn’t be fat, stuck, depressed–you fill in the rest.
Oh, that mean, rotten Somebody Else, I thought, temporarily buying in, because Blame is very convincing, you know. She’s so in-your-face angry that you get singed by the heat of her fury, and it’s hard to concentrate and stay centered when your eyebrows are on fire.
Once I caught my breath, though, I began to get some perspective.
Wait a minute, I said. I led Blame to the mirror, and she did not go willingly, I assure you. But I made her look. At HERSELF. (Funny, how much she resembles me, when you look past the scales and the flames shooting out of the nostrils.)
There’s your problem, I said. You don’t see Somebody Else in there, do you? Is Somebody Else making your choices? (They will, actually, in an indirect sort of way, if you let them, but even THAT is a choice, isn’t it?) Don’t give me any crap, here. If Viktor Frankl can make a choice in Nazi captivity, we certainly don’t have an excuse.
Blame is a way of letting ourselves off the hook. Letting Somebody Else be responsible.
Sheep dip. Always, always, the choice belongs to you, and you alone. Maybe you can’t choose what other people do. But you CAN choose your response. (Remember Viktor Frankl if you’re tempted to snivel.)
Think about it. I certainly am.
I need something to do while I wait for my eyebrows to grow back.