...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