Recently I watched a wonderful TED talk by Brene Brown entitled The Power of Vulnerability. I encourage everyone to watch the short twenty minute talk. I won’t cover the major points, but one segment is worthy of more coverage. Brene provides a definition of blame as a way of discharging pain and hurt. In her video she was suggesting that we might bypass blaming if we understand that blaming is simply a way to avoid feeling pain. Personally, I took this another way. As I understand it, there is often an energetic need to discharge pain and hurt, and if this is true, then I can search for effective ways of creating the space for that to occur.
As an example, I have had to deal with some experiences in my past that were quite painful. As someone who experienced physical and sexual violence, I found myself angry and unable to move beyond those memories. It wasn’t until I arrived at The Haven that I discovered a path for fully embracing and expressing my blame and discharging that fixated energy within a circle of people who held the space, a place where I discovered that discharging was important because, energetically, I was carrying that story in my cells.
Once I had the opportunity to release the charge, I no longer needed to keep holding that story. The circle of people provided an easy path of moving out of being a victim. As others witnessed my pain and hurt, and then invited me to connect by making eye contact and listening to the impact my sharing may have had on others, I was able to be fully in my feelings of pain and hurt, discharging the fixated energy. I did not need anyone to fix it, change or remove the experience. All that I wanted was a space to allow the feelings to be expressed and move through the blame. Being fully in my blame felt made me feel vulnerable and raw. Yet when I looked around the room, I knew I was not alone—in my pain or my blame.
We are human. We try so hard to avoid many deep feelings. We even try hard not to blame or be seen as a victim. Part of being vulnerable is revealing our desire to blame, even if that is not the best solution. It is very special when others makes a space for that to be okay, giving us permission to go further, allowing deeper feelings to be expressed. That space opens us up and allows all the other feelings to surface.
I am always moved when people ask for a space to scream, wail, fight and discharge the pain of being human. I am quite open to making that space and being a witness to the human experience. I greatly value those in my life who have done the same for me. I have learned it is not about fixing our human experience—that is the work of heroes and gods. The greatest gift is simply being fully present, accepting the human experience, knowing we are not alone. That is the path I have found moves me beyond blame.
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