The unfulfilled promise of BLAMING

I had a brief foray into writing Country Western songs–they’re the best at expressing the true drama of life. Here’s one I especially liked (imagine a drawling, slow paced vocal):

If blame feels so good, why don’t I feel better?
It’s driving me out of my mind!
If blame feels so good, why don’t I feel better?
Not misery and pain all the time…

I think I’ve mastered the art of blaming. I’ve got a whole cast of characters: The long-suffering martyr blamer (“I’ll do it, it’s ok…”), the seething blamer (–SILENCE–but you know it was your fault), the defensive blamer (“I did the best I could, why don’t YOU try?!”), and yes, the overt blamer (“I never would have done ____ if you hadn’t done ____ first!”).

What I notice about blaming is, alas, it’s true–I really don’t feel better. After the initial adrenaline shot of the first finger-point (even if it’s at me), things kinda go downhill. What else is there to do? Wait for the other person to change? Try to brow-beat them into it? None of that has ever actually worked.

What does work? The big move is to shift into wonder. I have that word, “wonder,” inscribed on my watchband so I can see it all the time. Going from the AHA!! to the Hmmmm, in Planet Hendricks terms, makes all the difference. When I blame, I believe I know the source of the problem. Of course, if that knowledge had helped, the problem would’ve been solved. When I shift into curiosity, the realm of not knowing, suddenly possibilities magically open up again. It’s like the tide has started coming in and lifts me off of the sandbar I’m stuck on. And I get to turn around into the open sea. It’s the sometimes scary unknown, but it’s a rollicking good ride.

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