“When you point the finger at some-one there are three fingers pointing back at you".
This wise and common phrase illustrates the importance of taking responsibility for the conflicts that arise in our lives. It reminds us that if there is conflict in our world, we have taken part in creating it. Blaming others for our circumstances or our emotional upset just keeps us trapped in a victim mentality. Oh poor me! Boohoo! It's no fun playing the victim, it is completely disempowering and ultimately untrue.
One of the things that used to upset me the most as I travelled the world was seeing the way the European settlers had dominated and oppressed the indigenous cultures of the world. I was so ashamed to have white skin UNTIL I saw the movie Apocalypto. The movie is the Mel Gibson portrayal of the life of the ancient Mayans up until the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors. The movie begins with the quote, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within" - Will Durant. Meaning there is no external conflict without internal conflict. It then goes on to show the violent human sacrifices and cruel treatment that was existing within the Mayan culture well before the Spanish arrived and simply continued the abuse.
If we are completely honest with ourselves we can often see the ways that we are mean, unfair and unsupportive within our own heart and minds. No one will ever treat us as poorly as we can often treat ourselves. In my counselling sessions it always amazes me how cruel people can be with their self talk. In fact, during my own meditations, it amazes me what mean things my own mind can say about me some days. We all have that mean voice that pipes up from time to time to rip at our self esteem. People who are mean or treat us unfairly are only ever a mirror of the ways that we talk to ourselves. So it is time to stop playing the blame game and take responsibility for how we treat ourselves.
8 simple ways to turn blame into insight and self love
I also recommend visiting Byron Katie's website and her you tube video's for a more in depth version of the process above that she calls 'the work'.
I'd love to hear your take on resolving conflict in the comments below and share this article with your tribe.