The Blame Game

Forgiveness

I was laying in shavasana at the end of a nice yoga class this morning, preparing to settle in for my typically fidgety, ADD attempt at relaxing, when this beautiful, soul stirring song came on.  Normally during this time we should be half-conscious and repeating mantras of peace and serenity- but my mantras typically are things such as “I really want a sandwich” or “I hope that fabric isn’t back-ordered” or “I wonder what Rob Pattinson is doing right now“.  But today something really strange happened. As I exhaled slowly and let the music whip up some deeper thoughts in me I heard my self say (in my head, not out loud, that would be embarrassing) “It’s not your fault”. Wow, what was that brain? What did you say?  Then again I exhaled “it’s not your fault”.  It just came to me and it felt so, so nice to repeat that to myself as I lay there still as stone. A little forgiveness, just for me.

Blame is a funny thing. As someone who has always struggled with self esteem issues I tend to blame myself for everything that goes wrong (and not take credit for that which goes right).  No matter what the situation is at hand- a frustrated client, a friend giving me the cold shoulder, even illness in myself- my default setting is think up all the reasons why it’s my fault those things are happening or how I must be the reason someone is acting or feeling a certain way. It’s a really tough thing, and I think it’s a very common thing, especially for women, to constantly blame themselves.  And it’s a hard habit to break too.  You can tell yourself that most likely it’s not your fault that your client is being crabby with you or that guy didn’t call you back, but deep in your gut sits an uncomfortable anxiousness that just maybe it IS you. I don’t think it’s self-centered to feel this way, but rather self-less–because in a small way you are always putting yourself last and not believing that you are a good person deep down.

And sometimes things are your fault and instead of getting angry with yourself, why not try to accept those mistakes as lessons, learn from them as much as possible, and move on. I tend to  really harp on mistakes, blaming myself for being stupid, scatter-brained or lazy and wishing with every ounce of my being that I could go back and make a different decision. And then I focus on that wish endlessly. This is a HUGE FREAKING WASTE OF TIME.  But we all do it and it’s just another way of blaming ourselves for being human. I have learned that every mistake, bad decision, and shitty time in my life has lead me to a better place.  Someday this will sink into my brain and I’ll skip through fields (holding hands with Rob) and finally be free of the burden of self-blame.

I feel a little like today was a step towards a breakthrough- I feel slightly lighter in my heart right now and as I keep going through my day I’m going to just keep saying that to myself. It’s NOT my fault. Life is tough. Everyone has a lot of factors in their lives that make it difficult.  I certainly do, so I need to believe that everyone else does and that is what might be affecting their behavior. Just as everyone in this life will make mistakes, big and small, and live through them.  As long as I do my best, work hard, be a good friend (to others and myself) then I should be able to relax into the notion that this too shall pass and that everything is NOT my fault.

Just a little Jack Handy-esque “Deep Thought” for you on this Thursday! :) And just for giggles, maybe get yourself or someone else in your life who is going through a tough time, this fabulous little message flower from EmersonMade.

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45 comments

  1. Isn’t it great to have “ah ha” moments like this? I’m the same way…and it’s so refreshing when I somehow, someway realize I need to give myself a break every now and then and just breathe!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. Life has so many curves and twists that really isn’t always a result of our actions. This entry was like a big sigh of relief that I needed.

  3. Wow, thanks for sharing…. and your right we do blame ourselves for everything. I think in some sick way it makes it easier? At least for myself. I don’t want to be mad at someone else so I just blame myself. Obviously that makes no sense!

    But I love it when those moments happen… and ALWAYS out of nowhere.

    Jennifer

  4. This post really spoke to me. Lately I’ve been trying to catch myself whenever I go to a negative place and consciously replace it with a positive thought. It’s a work in progress.

  5. This made me stop in my tracks… I have been on overdrive lately, and being in the position of helping others with their personal and life problems on a daily basis often leaves me forgetting to stop and reflect and take care of myself. Your post offered a reminder that it is, in fact, not my fault and that i too, need help sometimes. I’m flawed too, but that’s an okay thing to be! Thanks for being so open, Erin. You’ve definitely made a differnce in my life today :)

  6. Great post and its seems like I and you are not the only ones feeling this way by the other commenters. Thanks for sharing and letting it out so we know that we are all more similar than different!

  7. This was a lovely and very welcome post. I try to remind myself that I learn from mistakes, that they serve a purpose. In fact, many amazing inventions originated from mistakes. Blaming serves no purpose anyway, understanding does. Thank you for sharing this bit of positive energy.

  8. As much as I enjoy your design and fashion posts, I really like this type of self-reflective post from you. It’s nice to have the context of who you are as a person as you share your work and inspiration. Excellent post. The last part reminded me of a quote from Plato I came across recently: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

  9. These are your best posts, Erin. We all need to relax, enjoy life and accept our imperfect selves-so hard to do!

    (PS_I bet the fantasy of Rob P is better that the reality…is your hubby jealous?)

  10. Well put. I recently found myself in a negative situation caused by a disturbed individual, yet my initial reaction–which actually lasted over a week, I am sorry to say–was “I’m such an idiot” for walking right into a trap. Life always goes on and I’m fortunate to have plenty of love and support, but I wish i could learn to move through the self-blame a little faster.

  11. This is an amazing post, Erin! Beautiful! I think you’re right in saying that women tend to constantly blame themselves. By nature, we want to nurture and take care of others. We feel as if it’s our responsibility. Thus, when things do go wrong, we think it’s our fault. And, it’s not! I love having a-ha moments in yoga class. They are each so special and should be cherished. Thank you for this lovely post!

  12. This is one of the best post I have ever read!!!!! Thank you for all your amazing posts, but today shows how truly special you are and what your readers mean to you!!! Thanks again for showing us your beauty through your vunerability!!!!

  13. This really struck a chord with me! I am always saying I need to get out of my own way or that I have no one to blame but myself. Your post really changed my outlook, thank you for this :)

  14. erin-the first thought that came to my mind when I read your post (after a week of some roller coaster “esq” life happenings) was she seems….-so real. I want to invite her over to have a cup of tea with me and sit with fuzzy socks on and chat.

    Your post was truly meaningful to me. thank you.

  15. your so right. you never know what a person has been through…or going through..or always seem to go through that puts them at the place that they are at, at that moment. but as the photo read….this shit to shall pass. it always does.

  16. Erin, those words were so true to me. I do the same all the time. Everything I think must be because of me and it is so draining. I await my brain saying those words to me, but like you they usually evolve around a sandwich or a to-do list!

  17. oh i love this post – thanks for the reminder to go easy on myself – you are right I think as women we are especially hard on ourselves and somehow believe that we must be super human – putting pressure on ourselves unnecessarily. Hope you have a good and relaxing weekend x

  18. I can so relate to this commentary, Erin, on so many levels! After a hellious week with family members and trying to dodge landmines with a self obsessed sibling, this article was just what I needed!

    PS- When you can’t sleep at night for worrying about everything that needs to be done or did not get done, the “What is Rob Pattinson doing RIGHT now?” mantra works great…. :-)

  19. hi Erin,
    Many thanks for another great post. By chance, do you know the song played? Or have a great yoga mix? Happy weekend and continued success.

  20. Isn’t it amazing when we take the time to actually listen to ourselves?! I have had a moment like that before when I actually hear myself telling me something important and it’s always life changing when we listen to it!

  21. This is such a great post! Thank you for sharing! We all have those voices in our heads that whisper lies we tend to believe too readily. How fabulous when the truth finally breaks through and we hear and believe!

  22. Dear Erin,
    I so completely understand you but I am still struggling to convince myself to forgive myself. You have shook us a bit, realizing what we should do everyday, in small steps, just to stop blaming ourselves. Thanks for that!
    iLa

  23. what an amazing post, i really needed that today. thank you! sometimes (okay, all the time) i think ‘oh, i’m the only one who feels this way – what is wrong with me?’ it’s so great to remember we’re not alone in the struggle. the wishing for a do-over is so me, i do that all the time. it’s maddening!

    thanks again, just what i needed to hear today.

    ox, kelie

  24. I don’t know if I have ever commented before but I wanted to let you know that this post is my all-time favorite of all your posts. Thank you for writing so well what so many of us feel. I love your blog and have been reading it almost from the beginning. Keep up the great work!

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