Wednesday, March 21, 2012

BLAME

...part of the cure is to wish to be cured. SENECA


Today, I am stuck on blame. And, I realize this is a reoccurring theme in my life.

There are days when I blame entitlement, or impoverishment, or complacency.

There are days when I blame heredity or bureaucracy, or society.

There are days when I blame the weather.

There are dark days when I blame my husband, or a friend, or a family member.

But mostly, I blame myself.

Everything gets heavy when I bring blame home with me.  Roll in it.  Sleep with it.  Awake to it.

Today, I blame my neighbor.

My superficial, elitist neighbor, has taken it upon himself to install thick black netting along the top lip of our shared carport to prevent the birds from building their nests.

I love watching the birds. It is one of the simple joys in life. I listen to their song. I watch their flight. I watch them tend to their young.

I don't care if they crap on my car. I don't care if they swoop at my cat. They are protective, nurturing, territorial, creatures. They will strategically gather at high ground and then one by one, dive-bomb the cat until she runs for cover. They also do this to the dog, who is half the size of the cat, but she is too aloof to let them distract her from her walk, or a friendly face, or a sniff of this or that.

This morning, I watched blackbirds try to fight their way in. Watched them peck and push at the menacing mesh. With a tight flutter and beaks bound with nesting, they jabbed at the obstruction over and over again.

There is a ladder close by. I want to climb it. Take my hedge cutters and snip apart his pompous barricade. I am angry but am still healing and I am physically limited. And if I toss logic into it, I'm not certain my efforts would be effective. I am certain that my actions would cause friction. A close to home friction that would play out for days, and months and years to come.

Today and yesterday, I blame my reconstructive breast surgeon. A small man with a huge ego.  A dismissive, condescending, belittling man cloaked in clout and a vast accumulation of accolades.

I blame him for not reassuring me before or after my surgery. And when I questioned why he didn't inform me that it is not his practice to see his patient before or after surgery, he replied, rather sheepishly..."you didn't ask."  Oh how I loath that excuse.

I blame my smug, superhero, rockstardoc, for not placing my tissue expanders evenly, or correctly.  These deflated non-regulation size basketballs are cumbersome and annoying, especially now that I have begun the skin and muscle stretching "fill" process. Doesn't he realize how meticulous I am? How everything MUST be balanced, and straight, and even. And how difficult it is for me to view my lopsided self.

Healing is hard work. Healing is letting go the way we want to be and holding on to the beginnings of good intensions. Healing is not about competing with ourselves. It isn't something we gain or lose. It is a process.

Today, I am focused on the birds, because they are struggling.
Today, I am focused on myself, because I am struggling.

Today, above all else, I know, I must honor the struggle.



We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who's right and who's wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us and we do it with political systems, with all kinds of things that we don't like about our associates or our society.  It is a very common, ancient, well-perfected device for trying to feel better.  Blame others.  Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.   Pema Chodron


25 comments:

  1. I should have put more Saline in, next time 100 CC's.

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    1. yes, I had 60 cc's in each yesterday and I'm surviving purely on muscle relaxers. I'll do 100 if you do 100... game on!

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  2. Hugs to you today. I hope tomorrow's better.

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    1. its good Debra, its good! but this is about growth and in order to grow I need to focus on the inner, gut stuff. Blame is what I see today.

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  3. Thinking of you and hoping things get better.

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    1. thank you Jessica - I am getting better. little by little... :)

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  4. okay, first things first: ((((huge giant hug if you want it)))))

    I am sorry this is so challenging and difficult and annoying and makes it so you can't save birds that need saving easily. I love birds. Something else we have in common.

    Second, in my experience, many brilliant surgeons are social morons. They spend a great deal of time in school learning to do difficult things, then when they do the difficult things, they get accolades and that does not make them more socialized. I'd rather have a good surgeon with a terrible bed side manner than a bad surgeon with an amazing bed side manner. Not everyone has the capability of being socially adept. I realize, that's me. I will say that sometimes I think some surgeons may be afraid if they let you get close to them, they can't do their jobs. I know it's not a good answer. Oh. I would ask him what can be done about the expanders. It's bothering you. Ask the questions. Always, always ask the questions. You have that right. And it will make everything easier if you know the answers. And if they say something like because X and X doesn't make sense to you, ask why. Or what does that mean. And keep asking until you do understand.

    Third, I have been struggling hard on many fronts lately. Not the one you are, I know. I would not compare mine to yours. But still: hard. Struggle. I would rather be doing taxes and who wants to do that? Not even the people who are paid to do taxes. Suffice to say that I believe in you and know this is (annoyingly) part of the process. You're amazing and wonderful and in my experience we struggle until we make sense of something or until we realize there isn't a way to make sense of it. I think that's what blaming is about: trying to find a way for something senseless (someone like you dealing with all of this) to make sense. It's one of the ways we process this crazy stuff.

    You are special and important to me and I am thinking every type of good thought there is to you. More hugs, but only if you want them.

    xxx Em

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    1. ps Dang, I didn't mean to be that verbose. Sorry!

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    2. YES, I am collecting your good thoughts and hugs and know that it is mirrored. I am enjoying the learning process. It's not a bad day, its a learning day. and YES, that is exactly what I did - I asked many questions. and in the end we agreed to part. (otherwise known as, I got my way).

      today, is a GOOD day. :)))))

      and you know this but I'll say it again... YOU are special and important to me - plus toss in respect and admiration!

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  5. Hey Shannon,

    Not sure what to say anymore, except keep on writing. It sounds like this is at least one outlet for your thoughts and feelings.

    Simply best wishes and I hope tomorrow is better than today.

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  6. Heym sweetie... it is ok to struggle, you know... that is part of the way that we know we are alive... and living. It is also great to know that you have this great support network out here...

    Your neighbor put mesh on YOUR gutter? I would certainly cut it away if I wanted birds... Hell, it's my gutter!!! :o)

    *huggles*

    ~shoes~

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    1. I agree Shoes! he put mesh over the edging (lip) our carport - we (he plus 5 other condo's) share this space.

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  7. TODAY IS GOOD Mark, I swear :) I have to tweak this so I don't sound distressed.

    My real pain comes from the New Orleans Saints :)

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  8. I had a uteran biopsy once. A few days afterwards I was going to the bathroom and I gave "birth" to this baseball sized bag of what seemed like coffee grounds!. I was freaking out! What just came out of me? Was it important? Was it a body part? Sheesh. You'd think the doctor might say something about the lump of stuff that would one day plop into the toilet...or God forbid out in public somewhere. Anyway, I get it.

    And the struggle. Well...count me among the struggling. Right now it's all just hard. I had a breast reduction last year. They're lopsided. Just sayin'.

    Hang in there. Isn't blame one of the 9,000 stages of grief? :/

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    1. welcome to the world of growth. Struggle is about growth. growth is never a bad thing :)

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  9. I hate it when doctors just assume stuff. GRRRRR! Hugs to you Shannon! (Wait til dark, then get all stealthy with the hedge trimmers and the neighbor's netting.)

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    1. but...there is only one person who would do it and I can't lift my arms above my shoulders ....perhaps if you meet me! I'll call you on my shoe phone :) xoxo

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  10. I'm no expert (not even a novice) at understanding what you're going through, but it sounds like getting this stuff out is doing you good. I'm all for that :-)

    Hugs x

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    1. it is, it truly is doing me good!!! :)

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  11. I never saw the surgeon who replaced my knees until he came in and drew happy faces on them. He didn't draw happy faces when he had to re-do one. I never saw him again for four months. He was smart. Sorry for your ouchies, you can blame me if it helps. Remember it's darkest before the dawn and that's when you should cut the mesh down.

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  12. ugh....... the birds won't give up. They are so upset.

    As for my ouchies, I'm fine and NO I can't blame you :) xoxo

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  13. Shannon, try to marshal your energy...this has been a traumatic experience and you are now in the "fall out" stage. keep writing!

    Wander
    P>S> Hi!!

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  14. So many mean people! A big slap to them all!

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  15. He didn't get them in straight!? To paraphrase my daughter, "Jerk!"

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  16. Maybe you could think of them as Angry Birds and hope they'll launch themselves at the neighbor. Or distract yourself by watching a couple of eagle nest cameras; there are quite a few pairs sitting on eggs right now, all over the country.

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Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

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Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing
greenmonkeytales@live.com

Shannon E. Kennedy

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