One of those days when people annoy you – could the bus driver care any less as I got on the bus, or did that car driver really have to cut in like that and at great speed? Blame!
Or what about when events conspire against you – did those birds really have to ‘bless’ my car with the contents of what they ate? I blame the birds or the council department that planted so many trees in an urban environment. Blame!
Or, what about when you turn on the tv news program – was that right, that someone, a sportsperson and so much fitter than me, and two-thirds my age had just passed on? I blame competitive sports councils or God? Blame!
The problem with blaming others is that it is a very real, and very potent form of attack, and it doesn’t solve anything. Infact, it probably makes matters worse.
And, on top of that, at the end of the day, you relax and reflect, and then you have a sneaking suspicion that it just seemed a bad day because of your perception. There’s a nagging feeling of…something amiss!.
Somewhere, deep inside you, there’s a voice that so wants to recite all the good things that happened – you can just feel it – but you oppose it. And, why not, you say to yourself, after all, you’ve invested so much time and effort in one point of view, the negative, that you’re just not going to change your mind. It was an awful day, you say to yourself.
It was an awful day, or was it? Someone else should be blamed, or not? Was it just that we were looking for the negative things, and didn’t even notice the good. And, if we’re honest, it’s more than likely that lots of good things did happen, but we were just suffering from the twenty-first psychological ‘ailment’ that we’re all subjected to, of ‘mean world syndrome’.
Could it be that what we saw, all those negative things, was a reflection of how we felt deep down inside, or maybe it’s an unwelcome habit or tendency we’re prone to? Why, then might start to blame ourselves? Blame!
The problem with self-blame is that it is self-attack, it enhances that negative cycle as we misperceive the world around us, and it doesn’t solve anything. Once in the cycle of negativity and blame, it’s difficult to break out of it – but not impossible.
What if there was another way to react?
Here’s one spiritual exercise you can try – and that I sometimes use in group workshops, usually at the end of the session, so it’s like homework, but good homework. It’s about stopping the blame game, forgiving and blessing because we ‘see’ the bigger picture (but sometimes forget).
I think you’ll enjoy the exercise – it’s a bit of fun, too. And hopefully you’ll benefit from it, so I do heartily recommend that you try it.
So, sit back, relax, enjoy, read and imagine…
— o0o —
Here’s one exercise, from many. This one is about you forgiving other people and forgiving yourself in the process, and blessing others. You can it try right now. Imagine:
You come from a far off country, and the Ruler of that country is called The Celestial Toymaker. And he or she has sent you on a mission, here. Yes, you’re an undercover agent. A good one.
Everyone here, everyone you will meet today is a toy robot, made by the Celestial Toymaker, and that includes you. And, all those robot toys you meet today will provide you with endless hours of amusement – that’s what toys do – unless they’ve forgotten that they are toys in which case their programming may go awry. Then, you may find they don’t provide you with any entertainment at all, and some of them, on occasions, may irritate you.
You might find it easy to react badly back to them, but you know two things. Firstly, they’re only acting that way because they’ve forgotten they are toy robots and so misbehave. And secondly, you know that you’re a toy robot and so know that you don’t have to ‘misbehave’ back to them because you know you’re a toy robot – though you also know you sometimes forget (and that affects fellow toy robots that you then come into contact with).
The Celestial Toymaker has asked you to contact him (or her) with a progress report as you encounter all those toy robots, today.
There is only one thing to do, well two things really, and these form your mission, today. Here is your mission, should you choose to accept it.
- Firstly, if you come across a misbehaving toy robot, one that annoys or upsets you – remembering that this behaviour is only because they’ve forgotten who they really are, and have forgotten the Celestial Toymaker – you are to report to the Celestial Toymaker using certain code words. And these are, ‘I forgive you’. This can be done as a thought-communication, rather than out loud, so no one (apart from the Celestial Toymaker) will know. He (or she) will then know you are forgiving a wayward toy robot, and will work on that misbehaving toy robot in the most gracious of ways.
- Secondly, if you come across a toy robot that pleases you in any way, then the coded report to the Celestial Toymaker that will alert him (or her) to the fact that you’ve encountered a well-behaved toy robot is, ‘Bless you’. The Celestial Toymaker will know that you have found a well-behaved toy robot, and will bless them, too.
Ofcourse, once you’ve sent that coded message you can interact with those toy robots in any appropriate way – working well with the behaved ones, and extending forgiveness and understanding to the wayward ones. After all, the Celestial Toymaker is ultimately in control.
And, you’ll also notice that the Celestial Toymaker will bless you, because of your faithfulness, and because he (or she) loves all his toy robots. Every single one of them. Even the ones that go wrong. Bless them!
So, fellow agent, fellow toy robot, do you accept your mission? I hope so. Try it for twenty-four hours. Imagine, a whole day of ‘forgiving’ and/or ‘blessing’ fellow toy robots.