Friday, February 3, 2017

It's You, Not Your Creation

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

This is about blame, about avoidance and denial. This is about how to know that it is you with the problems and not someone or something “out there.”

To Blame Is to “B-lame.”

Let’s pretend that something happens to you. Or maybe something doesn’t happen to you but you believe it should have. What is this “something”? I don’t know specifically, but you don’t like it.

So you blame the outside world. And maybe you follow up this blame by defining some new goal of which there’s a fair chance you won’t even bother attempting to achieve.
  • “My car is cheap. I need to buy a new one.”
  • “My boss is an asshat. I need to get a new job.”
  • “People are selfish. I need to go somewhere where they’re kind.”
  • “I’m broke. I need to win the lottery.
  • “My car is junk because my selfish asshat of a boss doesn’t pay me enough so I had to go cheap. Doesn’t help either that everyone else wins the lottery but me. The only car I could afford was from some deceptive jerk I found in the Classifieds. Thing was trash from the get-go. Totally paid too much… I need a new life.”

Lame, is it not? Running from every discomfort (which for most people is +/- 92.5% of their lives), never questioning yourself as to whether or not you have any responsibility in the matter. Somehow it’s just always the fault of “other.”

Do the Math

In mathematics, if you have to solve an equation by adding or subtracting two or more fractions with different denominators, you need to find what is called a common denominator. This shared base is what allows you to make sense of otherwise dissimilar pieces.

You might wish to keep this principle in mind when blame arises. For are not all the phenomena of existence simply like apparently unrelated fractions that rarely if ever add up? Of course. And I’ll tell you why.

Because you’re unwilling to acknowledge the true common denominator of all the fragmentation that you perceive in life:


Each “fraction” you perceive is but a lighter or darker reflection of your dis-integrated inner self. Hence, why every time you get a new job, car, friend, house, or wife you experience the same issues over and over again. You can blame and rearrange things all you want externally, but you must know that what really needs attention is already and always within you until healed.

Questioning “Perfection”

If you are a blamer and cared to take a look, you would notice many behaviors and patterns indicative of your need to fault the external world. The most obvious is, of course, blaming—“Don’t look at me. It’s his fault.” Also implicit of blame are overt things like judgment, criticism, and name-calling as well as subtle issues such as a victim mentality (out of which the overt are born).

Trouble is, since you must “start where you are,” it can be very difficult to recognize the prevalence of an issue such as blame if it’s what you and everyone around you have been doing your whole lives. So embedded might you be in judgment, for example, that you believe your judgments to be factual assessments.

What cannot be mistaken, however, is your reaction to being told that you are responsible or that you are the one needing help—in other words, that you are imperfect. Which, please note, doesn’t mean “other” isn’t at fault to some extent. “Other” very often is. It’s just that you are the one who matters here and the degree of your reactivity will reveal to you in no uncertain terms how responsible you truly are. This potent clue can be summed up by how you answer the following 2 avoidance- and denial-based questions:

  1. How do you handle being called out as accountable for an unsatisfactory experience/situation?
  2. How do you deal with self-help, advice, and other such things wherein your “knowing,” “perfection,” and so forth are challenged?

How you might react to these questions I’ve broken down into 5 general categories. Why not see where you fit? For the extent that you’re in avoidance and denial is the extent to which you’re blaming someone or something “out there,” and vice versa.

  1. Anger, Rejection, and More Blame:
    You immediately and completely reject a suggested truth and your accountability regarding it. Your anger* arises in proportion to the sensitivity of the nerves hit, and any suggestion of personal shortcoming is denied and blamed on “other.” Think narcissism: No matter the evidence, a narcissist is “always right” and they make sure their “opponent” knows it. The “opponent” has lost before even beginning. (*Anger may not flare if thoroughly suppressed. Yet this anger will still reveal itself through sudden muscle tension, a variety of blame techniques, yelling, and so on.)

  2. Distraction:
    Your attention quickly dives elsewhere. Maybe specific personal issues aren’t even mentioned but just the concepts of self-responsibility, self-help, or clarity on the way things truly are. Your eyes quickly turn away, the topic is abruptly changed, blame is laid elsewhere, and any of 17,000 other distractions (from picking lint off your shirt to needing to go shopping) are found be of higher priority… Although distraction mixes into other categories, this is a good place to mention you who addictively drink, smoke, exercise, work, snack, and so forth. Every moment of waking life becomes distraction-based in order to avoid turning inward. Anything to make you feel “okay.”

  3. Looking "Good”; “I-Really-Want-To-Flush-This-Inner-Shit-Pile-But-Oh-Ah-Well-Maybe-I-Don’t-Want-To-Get-Rid-of-It-That-Badly-After-All”:
    You think you’re ready to resolve troublesome issues so you request the help of another who “gets it.” The conversation may go well enough, but when the talking is over and suggestion has been made to regularly take quiet time to meditate, journal, self-inquire, and so on, that’s when avoidance kicks in. There’s a willingness only to appear as if you’re “doing something good.” A few insights may end up arising, but never anything obliging you to face your base programming. Similarly, you might be willing to borrow books or ask for video resources, but if asked about them later your response might be, “I’m so busy,” or, “I keep forgetting.” Your negativity toward “out there” and the consequent discomfort reflected back at you thus perpetuates.

  4. Ignorant, Yet Willing-In-Waiting:
    You react with denial and blame, but it’s more of an inadvertent, ignorance type of behavior; there’s not a lot of force to it. You do it because as a child you’d taken on the ways of everyone around you. You may never have concerned yourself with self-improvement but not due to avoidance: it’s simply never been shown to you. You may just need a personal introduction, someone to provide you with a bit of experience-based clarity and a gentle motivational nudge toward change.

  5. Willing Participation:
    You’re working on it. You know you’ve got junk that drives negative behavior, but you’re doing your best to unload it. You have little to no issue with others compassionately telling you you’re being negative, with acknowledging any personal negativity, nor talking to others about it who will offer compassionate help.

Following this list, I want to be sure to note that I’m not attempting to divide every human being into one (or a blend) of the above 5 categories. For instance, there are some people who blame but simply don’t think in terms of “right”/“wrong” or “positive”/”negative” as most people have been conditioned. Not only do they just do what they do for better or for worse while ignorant of their behavior’s implications, but something like notion of self-help might even sound weird to them.

My focal point remains, however, on those who are of the majority of humanity that on some more or less conscious level know they blame and avoid, know something is inherently flawed about their behavior, and know they’d be wise to do something about it at its core but, in most cases, don’t.

Forget “Nationwide.” Life Itself Is On Your Side.
Trust In the Wisdom of Life and Be Your Own Insurance.*

(*Well… As the Arab proverb goes, “Trust in God, but tie your camel.” Trust in life but don’t be a fool. Buying insurance can be a most useful thing. Especially when you own a car and it’s illegal to drive without it. Anyway…)

Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, even if usually unstated, life does in fact have our best interest in mind. If you’ll notice, trouble only comes when we “fractionalize” an experience that just is, when we overlay our beliefs and fears and such over the objective unfoldment of life and then react negatively to it as though “out there” is the one with the problem.

Some time back I published a post titled: “When Is a Car Not a Car? When It’s A Mirror!” The reason I find this piece so important is because it reveals how reflective life is.

When my car began doing all sorts of erratic and dysfunctional things, sometimes over the course of months, I could have gotten all bent out of shape and fretted endlessly since I didn’t have the hundreds of dollars or more it would’ve taken to fix the issues. I could also have tried to persuade myself and others that Subaru makes shitty cars, or something like, “It’s just my luck to get the junker.”

But rather than pulling any foolish blame or avoidance tactics, I evaluated my own experience to see what was so dis-integrated within myself that I needed my car as an external mirror of that dysfunction. As I explain in the blog post and as still holds to this day, the issues are gone yet I’ve put only very little money into car repairs—I simply adjusted my thinking and consequent behavior.

During the same illness I mention in the car posting, I’d also had an inordinate number of laptop troubles. Well, guess what? I’m still using the same computer but no longer have any hint of the issues, unless I fall back into old ways. My overall expenditure in time, money, and energy was thus far less than if I’d have chosen to ream out Dell or Windows or efforted to repair my PC while ignoring the fact that I am the common denominator of my woes.

If we could all learn to see with this kind of in-sight and be willing to make the necessary changes, we would enable ourselves to flow with a life that really does have our best in mind.

Summing Up

All this being said, I’d ask you to be mindful that what is stated here is not an attempt to say that anyone should be interested in self-help in the way it’s conventionally thought of. It’s perfectly fine if you don’t have a burning drive for enlightenment or to become a world-renowned life coach or some such thing.

This is far more about the innate human drive to be better today than yesterday—without the inflated ego—to want a better life than 99% of the population currently has. But in order to take even a single step toward this goal, you must first make yourself accountable. You must begin by acknowledging any immediate, self-defeating and other-harming programming/conditioning that’s blocking you from having the motivation to improve.

Which in other words means, “doing the math.”

Because you are at the center of it all. You may want to get this, you may want to do that, you may want to be this, you may want to know that. But all these wants are impossibilities when so much of your energy is focused on blame, avoidance, and denial—the very things that must necessarily return to you precisely what you don’t want.

So why not try going within?

It really sucks sometimes, sure. But definitely if you’re in one of the first 4 of 5 categories (and not uncommonly in the 5th), I’m hard-pressed to imagine that things don’t already suck as it is… I’m also quite hard-pressed to imagine that you will be disappointed with the rewards.

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