Who else read that title and said: ‘That’s me’? I know I did. And I’m the person that wrote it.
How many of us lie in bed at night thinking and dwelling on something we said or did that day? How many of us wish that we might have behaved differently in a given situation? How many of us have said something in a conversation only to question internally mere seconds later as to why we said it?
We beat ourselves up over things that have passed. We beat ourselves up over things that have yet to come. We beat ourselves up.
The real question is though, when thinking on those times, are you being too hard on yourself? Are you blaming yourself too much? Possibly even for something that no one else has given a second thought.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because of something that has been said to me by 2 different people in as many days. One of those people even asked me if I was ok? The implication being that she was worried I was depressed.
The reason they said it to me was because they were reading my blog. See, I’ve went a bit public with it. It’s no longer something where I feel anonymous. It’s not just to strangers on the internet. It’s to people who know me. People from my past, people from my present, people who have known me all my life.
The thing is they weren’t questioning my development. They weren’t questioning the progress I have made and will continue to make. They weren’t questioning the sense of vigour and drive that now propels me. They were questioning my view of past events. Basically my married life.
Both people thought I was being too hard on myself. They actually know me very well. I would confide, and still do, in one of them quite a lot. She knows almost every detail of my life story.
Both of them thought I was painting a bleaker picture of myself than I deserved. That I was painting myself in too harsh a light. That I was accepting too much of the blame in the breakdown of my marriage. That I was being too critical of myself.
It set me thinking. Gees what doesn’t. We always hear about not blaming others. How it’s the best way forward. Accept responsibility for your actions. Then move on.
But what if we take that too far. What if we don’t blame others but instead end up blaming ourselves too much. Isn’t that equally as damaging?
So that set me off on a quest of Googling blame. The essence of being too hard on yourself.
I’ve found information on why you shouldn’t blame yourself, why you shouldn’t blame others, why we blame society, why we blame victims, why we blame God or a higher power.
That set me thinking again. Why do we feel the need to blame at all? I can’t find anything about that. I even searched the direct term ‘why we feel the need to blame?’. There was one link with that specific line. Turns out it was about a specific thing. Not the need to blame in general.
So where do we draw the line? At what point can we say it’s not someone else’s fault. It’s not our fault. It’s no one’s fault. It’s just one of those things.
When do we stop being so critical of ourselves, of others? When can we learn to just let it go? Give ourselves some peace of mind. Let us fall asleep without running through all those unnecessary scenarios where we are overly critical about the things we have said or done. When do we stop beating ourselves up?
Is that a place we can reach? Or do we just end up blaming our own minds for everything instead?
p.s. If anyone has further clarity on this please let me know. Can we really be ‘blameless’? Have you felt the need to blame today?