Blaming and Forgiveness
When we feel that others have hurt us, our usual tendency is to judge and blame them. We are also rarely aware that our blaming is mainly an attempt to cover our own pain, including the pain of seeing ourselves as diminished, or as not enough in some way. So we get angry or resentful, and then focus on the shortcomings of those who have hurt us.
But in our blaming there is another subtle dynamic going on. When we take offense at others, we think our offense or hurt is the result of what they did or didn’t do. We thus use their behavior to justify our anger. In so doing, we’re missing a crucial point: when we get caught in blame and justification – in our
anger and resentment- we have lost our own way. We have cut ourselves off from the heart, from the love and connection that are our true nature.
While some situations may, in fact, eventually require taking objective steps to remedy potentially harmful outward actions, the real transformative process is an inner one. We have to acknowledge that it is our own darkness that has pulled us off the path, not the darkness of the other. Even though the other may have done something unskillful or unkind, this never justifies our unkindness in return.
Though something in us already knows this, it often takes only a nanosecond to go from this innate understanding to the mental realm of judging and blaming the other. Sadly, it is from our own unkindness toward the other, as manifested in our judging and blaming, that we make the choice to live from a closed heart. And in so doing, we are choosing to live as a victim, insisting on being right and
elevating ourselves by putting the other down.
From Zen Heart Simple Advice for Living with Mindfulness and Compassion
by Ezra Bayd