by Esther Veltheim
As a little child you were full of curiosity, questioning everything, seeing possibilities everywhere. As a grown-up, not so much.
After all, you “have responsibilities now and limitations and
life isn’t carefree anymore!”
One question has the power to break this spell.
“There must be another way?!”
Heed its call and you will discover that curiosity is your superpower.
The focus of BreakThrough is simple. BreakThrough is an in-depth exploration of one of the most common forms of human behavior … the act of blaming.
As two-line introductions go, understandably, this probably has BreakThrough sounding about as appealing as a colonoscopy. And you might well be asking yourself: “What on earth could a course be like that has blame as its primary focus?!”
Do you remember John Lennon’s lyrics from Imagine, describing a world where the things that appear to divide us no longer exist? No heaven, no hell, no religion, no possessions, no countries. But do these things actually divide us, or is it the blame around these things that divides us?
Imagine for a moment that nothing changes about the world except for one thing … Imagine there is no blaming. All blame ends, right now. The world would be a very different place, wouldn’t it? Can you imagine it? Have you ever put our human dilemma into such simple terms? Is it that simple?
And what are your first thoughts when you imagine a world where there is no blame? Did the thought come: “But blame is necessary!” “But the world would be chaotic if there was no such thing as right and wrong!”
Our minds have stories about everything. Our minds have very strong stories about blame. Validating stories, stories that make blame an indispensable, acceptable part of the human experience. Our minds have deep convictions about why blame is justified.
Whatever your mind is doing will tell you a great deal about your relationship to blame. “I never blame!” “A world without blame would be so peaceful!” “There is no reason for blame!”
On one level, this will be the thinking for many of us. But look at the definition of blame, and the word responsible is key. Wherever there is blame, there is a giving of responsibility to another person, a circumstance, an object, or to oneself.
Blame permeates our lives. Here are some examples:
“You hurt me when you speak to me like that.”
“The hammer made my finger black.”
“Once I pass this exam, I’ll feel better.”
“Alcohol helps me to relax.”
“Jokes make me laugh.”
“What you say gives me hope.”
“The politics in this country gets me so angry.”
“Rainy weather depresses me.”
“Soaring prices are giving me an ulcer.”
“I love the way you make me feel.”
“This tune always lifts my spirits.”
“That’s making me think….”
These might seem like harmless enough phrases. You might even have difficulty seeing blame in some of them. And you might be thinking, “If I hit my finger with a hammer, of course the hammer is to blame for my finger turning black!” Or, “Yes, I can see that when I say ‘a tune lifts my spirits,’ it could mean I’m saying it is the cause of what I experience … but that is hardly blaming, and if it is, those are hardly bad forms of blame.”
1. assign responsibility for a fault or wrong.
The question is, are you sure? Is there ever a healthy, valid, harmless form of blaming? Is any form of blame really innocent and without profound repercussions? Are you sure?
And this is key about BreakThrough. It asks us to stop assuming and to start being curious, about everything. Remember how that was when you were a little child? You wanted to know everything about life and about yourself.
If you do not like this kind of self-inquiry, then BreakThrough probably is not for you. But, then again, if you experience any kind of anguish or distress in your life, maybe BreakThrough is worth exploring.
Imagine that you are walking through a forest. Suddenly, here before you on the ground, you see a snake. Immediately you experience fear. But now the light shifts and you see the snake for what it is—simply a piece of old rope.
The snake has not disappeared; the rope has not suddenly appeared. All that has changed is your perspective and, thus, your experience.
In terms of blame and BreakThrough, this analogy works well: Blame is the snake that has us constantly at odds with ourselves. BreakThrough serves to shed light on blame, and all its repercussions, and shows blame for what it is.
Just to be very clear, BreakThrough does not seek to eliminate anything at all; not blame or any of its associated convictions. Nothing about the content of your mind, or you, or the world needs to change for your experience of yourself and the world to transform.