Spiritual leader Pema Chodren discusses how we all have a tendency to blame others for our problems – or ourselves for our pain or suffering. We all get triggered by have certain things – without our awareness. You know how it is when you or someone you know goes from 0 to 60 when certain things happen. It’s auto pilot and you don’t even know what happened or what was triggered, but you’re sure they other person has done something to cause you to feel the way you do. It’s their fault you feel the way you do. It really, really feels like they did something to you to completely justify your response. They did it to you and it’s their fault you are in pain or suffering.
Some of us have a tendency to blame ourselves when certain things go wrong. When your child disappoints you in one way or another, “I’m not a good mother” or when your relationship is really struggling or you’re going through a divorce – “I’m worthless, inadequate, a failure”.
When it comes to blaming ourselves or others, she talks about the importance of understanding and recognizing the difference between the trigger and the source of whatever unpleasant emotion was triggered. She describes the source for all of us – seeds in our unconscious based on conditioning. She has them, I have them, we all have them.
Even though it somehow feels that blaming others for your problems will help you in some way, it actually makes things worse. The more your “strengthen” the habit, the tendency to blame when you’ve been triggered, the more you will do it and the worse you will feel.
You can work on changing the way you blame others or yourself. It can slowly happen over time in a way that helps relieve your suffering, rather than make things worse for you and others around you.
A helpful CD or audiobook is When Pain is the Doorway by Pema Chodron. Here is helpful excerpt in this video of Pema Chodron speaking about the Propensity to be Bothered and briefly explains this concept.