There are two modes of blame: blame against the other, and blame against the self. Both are versions of attack, and both are applied in an effort to avoid the pain that arises in any given moment. To avoid the physical discomfort, we extend our pain outward as opposed to accepting it as a transitory part of who we are.
There is another way.
Because we have trained ourselves to believe that the physical sensation of pain is too difficult to tolerate, we escape to our thoughts in challenging moments. We ruminate on them, and indulge in the thinking that judges the circumstance, and the pain it triggers, to be “bad". This belief in "badness" makes us fearful that trouble is brewing, and no one, at the core, desires discord. We desire love. Disharmony terrifies us because we intrinsically understand it to be an abandonment of the love that defines us. And so, in our innocence, we mistakenly judge pain as being the obstacle to peace. We believe it to be the cause of our troubles, when in fact the discord created by our avoidance of it is the true culprit. It is from this place of battle that we begin to focus on blame.
From major grief and loss down to minor irritation, we use the same tactics: we either accept blame for the other's suffering, we hold the other accountable for our own, or we do both at the same time. Tragically, the shame that we are here to heal remains ignored, as does the pain that has exposed it. It is then further exacerbated in a futile game of hot potato, as pain is tossed back and forth, its beauty and wisdom unseen in the whirling dervish of judgement and attack.
There is an alternative to this seemingly impenetrable pattern. By choosing to silently investigate the pain, to feel it in the body completely by breathing and being still, we learn to focus on its message rather than becoming distracted by stories created by the mind in response to fear. This disrupts the thought process that feeds the fear, making judgement powerless in the face of truth.
The goal is not to transcend pain, or to escape it, but rather to welcome it fully and uncompromisingly, with no words to explain it and no decision about what it means. When it arises, if we choose to bear witness as it fills our physical and emotional consciousness, and allow it to show us what we have yet to learn (i.e. the miracles we are capable of), the pain begins to dissolve and join with the energetic field. It becomes yet another part of the molecular structure that makes up our incredible capacity for patience, compassion, and forgiveness. It fortifies the love that waits underneath our fear.
When we allow the pain to blossom within, and do not try to avoid it by using the mind to explain it away, it becomes a revelation. We see more clearly because delusion no longer clouds our vision. Another layer is removed, exposing more of the vulnerability and softness within. Pain, no longer a danger, becomes a teacher, a guide that ushers us through our experiences on this earth.