Emotional experience is completely subjective. A person may do something that triggers immense anger in me, while it triggers extreme joy in you. For instance, if I am fired from my job for a reason that I believe to be unjust, and the job is then given to you, raising your income and position, my emotional response to the event would be different from yours. Doesn’t this mean, then, that the action of the person who fired me is neutralized by the opposing forces of response? Doesn't it mean that the responses to the act had nothing to do with the act itself, since they vary so much? The action, then, becomes simply that: an action. It has no meaning and no universal effect. It is as neutral as the color beige.
This reasoning can be applied to any action. There will always be dissenting perspectives, and so there will never be an absolute response to anything. If we can apply this truth to our lives, we can begin to change our mindset about cause, effect, and pain. We can begin to intellectually understand that our pain has no cause. It just is. When we understand this, we will be able to overcome our instincts to blame, and begin to heal the pain we carry. We can use this knowledge to transition from a blame-based society to a forgiveness-based society very quickly. We can access it in those moments when we feel the instinct to deflect, and use it to remind ourselves to look inward, rather than blindly attack.
Pain is a part of our DNA. It is in our cells. It is a non-negotiable fact of life that we have tried to avoid since we first gained consciousness, because, at that point in our development, the emotional pain that arose from loss, rejection and abandonment threatened our very survival by depleting our focus and strength. We trained ourselves to push pain away and leave it unprocessed in order to successfully defend our lives against the elements.
We never unlearned this lesson. We continue to function as our ancient ancestors did, and yet many of us have none of the environmental threats that they had. We have room to process our pain now, and, as such, it is weighing heavily upon us. In our innocence, though, we maintain the cycle of resistance to pain and ensure that future generations must take it over for us when we leave this incarnation (research the cherry blossom study done on mice a few years ago if you question this theory). We keep reestablishing our conditioning by teaching our children to deny pain, for no reason other than fear.
We must look at things differently. We must learn to follow the map of our pain to its source. We must take responsibility for our experiences in order that we may heal and forgive. This does not mean that our pain is our fault. Quite the contrary. It means that our pain is no one’s fault. No person is responsible for any other person’s pain. We are only responsible for the healing of it.
We are revealing agents for one another: the behavior of another, and our response to it, reveals to us what lives in our own hearts. When we choose to follow the map of our emotions - every single one of them in every single moment - we make the choice to heal, expand, and evolve. When we choose instead to attack others for introducing us to our heretofore unacknowledged pain, we make the choice to stay trapped in our current form. We reject the opportunity to grow, and we eschew the very thing we came here to do: process emotion for the well-being of all.
It may appear to be natural to hold others accountable for their actions. It may feel weak to do anything else but blame them when we feel "wronged." It may seem like the only reasonable thing to do, in fact. It is not. The choice to attack our fellow human in any way is an act of insanity. The choice to go within and heal is an act of divinity. The former will keep us where we are. The latter will bring us where we're going. Let's start now.