between accountability and blame
This week’s topic is spurred on by my latest YouTube offering which is called The Law of Attraction (is a Lie). I hope you watch it. I’m quite interested in your comments on the topic.
I’ve written on this topic before, and wanted to revisit it. One of the issues I have with the Law of Attraction and other New Thought derived practices is that when they get simplified, they begin to cause harm. They are partial truths presented as whole truths. “Change your mind and change your life,” has truth in it. As a creator and person who has struggled with chronic illness and other seeming obstacles, mindset is important to me. I see the value in it.
But seeded in that phrase—“Change your mind and change your life,” or as New Age channel Seth/Jane Roberts used to say, “You create your own reality.”—are the roots of victim blaming. And blaming the victim often lets those who truly need to be held accountable off the hook. It’s the victim’s fault they got cancer, and not the multi-national corporation polluting their neighborhood. Climate crisis is the individual’s fault for not recycling, not the fault of the manufacturers of fast fashion and toxic chemicals.
Do we blame the protestors, or the systems and people who created the conditions that gave rise to the protests? Do we blame those just struggling to survive, or those who have made basic survival so difficult people resort to desperate measures?
This lens can be turned on ourselves, as well. If someone feels hurt by us, the feeling of blaming and shaming can get in the way of our own self-examination: did we cause harm, and do we need to make amends? And the opposite is true, as well: sometimes we blame ourselves when the other party is trying to deflect and project.
So, I’m much more interested in the process of our relationships with each other and the world, and with coming to a deeper understanding of accountability than I am with casting blame.
I want to take responsibility for what I can, and stop taking on responsibility for things that are not my fault. As someone who learned codependent coping strategies from childhood trauma, this has been a long, ongoing process. What is mine? What is not mine? What is ours? What is not ours?
And how can we shift our thinking and our actions to nurture and support each other and ourselves?
Wishing you all that you need, and enough to share.
Thanks for reading — Thorn
My upcoming class—Holy Well and Sacred Flame, Five Weeks With Brigid—has three pricing tiers to try to make it affordable to as many people as want to join in. We begin on February 1st.
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I don't know how it happens, but every week you seem to hit the nail on the head and write about something I'm right in the middle of dealing with myself. Thank you for what feels like your obvious openness to being a channel for others.
Excellent post, Thorn.