No Time for the Blame Game

Years ago, in an acting class, we read a book with a chapter and exercise about blame. I’ve said before that school was never my thing, but this excerpt has always stuck with me. When my son was in high school, I gave it to him to read … and shared it with him again recently.

Dreams Into Action book coverAs we prepare for the holidays, I’ve been thinking about the families who, at this time of year, struggle to overcome disagreements or long-standing family issues. It’s unfortunate that, in too many cases, misunderstandings, pride and blame can stand in the way of friendship, family or love. And, now with the holidays upon us, perhaps it’s a good time for a little introspection. 

Thoughts of this reminded me of the blame excerpt from Milton Katselas’ Dreams into Action: Getting What You Want – something that to this day it’s one of the truest things I’ve ever read.

An excerpt from Dreams into ActionThe premise is simple. Our life is our script to write, and no one else can cause you to fail, falter or abide by their wishes … unless you allow it. And when you blame others, you’re allowing other writers to change your best lines or alter scenes in your masterpiece.

Sure things happen in life. But when you blame others for those happenings and situations, you sign off the rights to your life. You empower someone else to rule over your life. And you become a victim (and according to Katselas, nothing is a bigger deterrent to advancement than victim mentality).

But that’s nonsense. It’s your life … and it’s in your hands.

If you have a conflict with a family member or friend, address it. If you have an issue with a colleague, deal with it.

If your life isn’t what you want, fix it. If your career isn’t what you, fix it. If your relationships aren’t what you want them to be, fix them.

I’m not saying it’s easy to face situations like these – in fact I know that it’s not. But my experience is that it’s ALWAYS worth it. Putting to bed the issues and moving onto a place of joy and peace is worth any temporary unease or discomfort.

So on this holiday, I encourage you to put aside blame … and embrace love, honesty and perhaps praise instead. Take back the pen and write the life you want!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


  1. Cindy Nelson

    It seems that this blog came at just the right time. Actually I wasn’t’ expecting one with it being Thanksgiving and all. However, this blog helped put my day in perspective, in that I can’t control that when you are from a large family people’s feelings get hurt and then of course blame game begins. So, on this day I kept just nodding my head and not getting involved with the power struggle of who was right or wrong. If you are wrong talk it out but own it. Once again thank you for the topic and the awareness that was brought to the forefront of my mind. Hope your Thanksgiving holiday was a relaxing one.

  2. Connie Leinicke

    Forgiveness is the most important “decision” each of us can make in life – whether we’re forgiving a stranger who cuts us off in traffic or forgiving our child who has cut us out of his/her life. To forgive someone who we judge has intentionally or unintentionally wronged us is a decision that fills our lives with peace and joy by cleansing our hearts, minds, and souls of all guilt, resentment, anger, frustration, and sadness. This is the highest form of “kindness is” for each of us and one that changes not only our lives, but the lives of everyone in our sphere of influence. Thank you, Mary Beth, for focusing on this important “decision making” topic this week.

  3. Stacey AKA BraveWidowMama

    This one spoke to me. My favorite phrase at work is, “blaming never solved any problem.”

    As the “BraveWidowMama,” I clearly understand the inclination to wrap oneself up in the victim role. I’ve been guilty of that, and lived it for a couple of years. Here’s the thing about being the victim. It robs you of your power to fight your way back to who you are and where you want to be. It is the easy way out.

    My next favorite quote comes from Stephen King, “Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman’s got to hang on to.” I tried that for a while too. It worked to dig me out of the dark pit of despair, but was not who I am and did not take me where I wanted to be.

    The answer, I feel, lies somewhere in the middle. I believe that I may be close to that sweet spot and that is where I’m finding my Peace.

  4. Christie L.

    Ok, I have one I actually DO need help with. I’ve done everything I know, except lie, to repair this situation.
    First–I’m not debating politics. Not now. Not ever.
    Second–This is a one-sided issue, but I don’t know how to get out of it.
    My niece, who is 27, and I have always been very close. I’m like a third parent and the one she calls when she’s picked up by campus security for drinking under age, or having a panic attack in the subway. I’m always there and try to be patient and understanding.
    Last year, after this whole election fiasco…she unfriended me on all social media because I didn’t vote for the same person she did. I didn’t post political propaganda or opinions, even once. She did know my political status prior to all of this.
    In this past year…she barely speaks to me, avoids being at the same place I am even for holiday meals, she rarely texts back. I haven’t laid eyes on her in over a year (she does live out of state but has been home 4-5 times in that period).
    I keep trying to reach out to her and frequently send little messages telling her I love her and miss her.
    What little I have gotten back from her:
    She said based on my political views (ie my fundamental beliefs, she states), she cannot trust me to have her back and she is shocked and disappointed.
    What can I do here? Is there something I can do, or do I just continue on and wait?

    • Christie

      Good news! It turns out persistence and time were key. 15 month’s later and a zillion goofy/silly meme texts.
      It’s still far from great, but she’s communicating 😊

  5. If a person has a falling out with a family member, it is their personal decision to handle it as they feel it needs to be. Forgiving is divine. There is power in doing the right thing for yourself and refusing to be victimized. Each of us are the best judges of knowing what the situation calls for. You can forgive but forgetting is impossible at times. Peace love and light

  6. Had to reread your blog a few times. Very true that you shouldn’t blame others for where you are in life. However there are circumstances that are not so easy to fix. There are times in terms of tragedies and health where there is no blame yet they can not be fixed so easily or at all. You make the best of the situation and make your own path and hopefully that path leads you to some sort of peace.

  7. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt. One of my favorite quotes ever. Thx for another inspiring blog Mary Beth.
    – Jenn @IDrnkSnKkoolAid

Leave a comment