Today in a conversation with my partner I finally realised that I had been living in blame for most of my life: blaming people, circumstances, and especially women. This blame was so normal for me that I did not even see that it had been running my life for so long. Until yesterday, if anyone had indicated that I was living in blame – or in other words not taking responsibility for myself and basically acting as a victim of life – I would have said they were completely off track.
So how did this all start? Where did it come from and how does this continue to play out even today?
It all started when I was very young. My mother, who was very sick, demanded that I make her happy, which was a mission impossible because nobody can make somebody else ‘happy.’
I then chose to withdraw to my own room, feeling a victim of the whole situation, thinking I was unable to solve it. I created my own little bubble of life, with dreams, music and creative activities like building with Lego and aircraft modelling. I became angry with my mother, that she had ruined my life and I blamed and disrespected her. The disrespect and anger played out in my irritation of the things she said or did throughout the whole of my life.
I consider I am an intelligent man, so on a mental level I knew I had to love my mother. But in my body there was anger and the blame, so I was mentally controlling this behaviour.
The big problem here is: if you blame, or even be angry with your mother, this is transferred to all relationships with women. This stems from a fundamental psychological law: the relationship you have with your mother is the model you use to relate with other women. So, in a very subtle way I started to be angry with all women without even being conscious of it.
After this conversation, calling out my blaming behaviour, actually renouncing it, I felt like a huge weight was released from my body. I felt my body filling with a warm quality and the colour in my skin immediately changed from pale to more brownish. My hands, parts of my arms, my feet started tingling. What was happening? Then I felt sharp pains in several parts of my body and realised what was actually happening:
Blame had been the ultimate protection of not wanting to feel my own hurts, my feelings of discomfort in my body.
For years I have been saying that I wanted to heal my hurts. Being a student of The Way of The Livingness I understood very well that my hurts were my buried unresolved emotional issues and were the opening gates through which non-loving energy could manifest itself.
When touched upon, I have cried about some of my hurts, but normally if anyone came into contact with them, most often my dear partner, I immediately would turn the attention towards her, not wanting to feel my hurt. In hindsight it was blame in action. I basically said every time a hurt was revealed: “You are the one causing me to feel miserable, weak and sad and I became angry and defensive”… at first openly irritated, sometimes angry, but I learned to manage this anger because I knew that was not how I was supposed to act as a ‘good’ man.
I became a very sophisticated and ‘nice’ man – a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
But when this behaviour kicked in, I thought in anger and walked in anger. And sometimes I exploded; my charade dropped and showed how very angry and frustrated I was feeling on the inside – believing “Whatever I do you are never satisfied with me, why can’t you be happy with me? Stop criticising me!”… or something in that style.
It was the little boy speaking, and my partner had turned into my mother. I understood mentally that I was still playing the same game, just as I did as a boy, but could not find a way to stop this. Better said, I chose to not find a way out, not wanting to see and deal with the root cause and feeling the deep hurt which was underneath.
Meanwhile my beautiful relationship was like a war every now and then, seeing my partner as the enemy when I chose to go into this blame pattern again.
I even aligned with a friend of mine so that we could ‘support’ each other in our struggling relationships, as he was also in a relationship that was not going so well. But it was no support, because basically we were talking in anger and frustration about “how women play these insidious games” and we were always “the bad-guys.”
When we want to hang onto a behaviour, do not want to let go, and if we are not honest, we will seek the support of the exactly those people that support the very behaviour we don’t want to let go of.
I chose to hang onto blame. And when there is blame, there can be no love.
Of course I understood I should not blame and not play being a victim. This was a mental concept that I understood very well. The reality was: I did not live this. This pattern was so ingrained in my body, and the thing I was doing was controlling and suppressing this behaviour with mental discipline, and that just does not work.
In hindsight I could have easily observed the anger, the hate, the disrespect, the not wanting to take responsibility and seeing myself as a victim, which was all caused by living in blame.
- When any of my numerous relationships ended – even though I saw my own part in it – I concluded that she was not the true love I was seeking and/or there was something wrong with her.
- Not really wanting to hear with my whole body when my partner pointed out my unloving behaviours.
- Withdrawing in self-pity and victimhood when my partner had pointed out something I had “done wrong.”
- Being glad to leave for work, after my partner and I had another argument.
- Being glad to go shopping, or do chores so I could avoid my partner.
- Eating things to feel better, just like a drug addict who thinks that the drug is the only thing that can make him feel better: a victim in action.
- Blaming one of the directors in a company I used to run, or all the things that he did wrong even though I was the one who employed him and did not take the responsibility to correct him or to let him go when the time was right.
The days after the ‘letting go of blame,’ more miracles followed. People around me observed my eyes opened up more, people expressed that they saw more love in me and that I walked in a different more, gentle loving way.
When I place things down the way I used to do it now feels hard in my body, so I changed these movements. I felt I could, and that I had the power to hold the connection with myself, feeling an almost constant radiation of love in my hands. Sometimes it went away – for example when I got absorbed or distracted in a discussion – but then I could bring the feeling back easily.
I even started laughing more, about myself too, so much so that tears would roll down my face!
Hardness out – love in.
Is this blame pattern now resolved? Sometimes it still creeps in, when somebody and especially my partner, points out something I have done in an unloving or irresponsible way. I then get this uncomfortable feeling in my body because I know I have made an irresponsible choice. Accepting now that I have the choice to feel in full and not shift the attention to someone else, instead of silently blaming them because I have perceived they are making me feel so awkward and knowing it is me who has to deal with the higher level of self-responsibility.
So thank you deeply Sylvia, my dearest partner, for pointing out this ugly pattern of blame – that I have been carrying around for such a long time and even considered to be my normal.
Choosing to let ‘blame’ go has changed my life and my body, and continues to do so. I am a powerful man, an adult and I know I can deal with anything and any hurt that surfaces in my life. There’s no need to defend what is there to be felt; I know I can handle it.
I know and feel that our relationship can blossom AT LAST.
Published with permission of my partner, Sylvia Brinkman.
By Willem Plandsoen, MsC, Sales consultant, Business owner and dedicated student of The Way of The Livingness