Living beyond blame

Do you act, speak, feel as though you are 100% responsible for your life? If so, then you respond authentically and with wholeness, totality in the moment rather than with robotic conditioning.

Before taking full responsibility, many people play the role of the victim and blame their circumstances or other people for their circumstances and concerns. Such projections distort and disrupt and even irreparably damage relationships. This is like being controlled by life, living at effect, rather than cause. When you feel like this, it’s easy to do unintelligent and even desperate or violent things to attempt to feel in control. People blame elected government, or the weather, or a long-dead family member, or their neighbours, and so on. But projecting ‘problems’ outside of yourself will not make your life any better and will create further suffering, at the very least a sense of not being fully at ease.

Unfortunately, the next step as people begin to take responsibility for their lives without digging any deeper in their enquiry can be to blame themselves for everything ‘wrong’ that happens. The distress is projected onto a own ‘negative’ self-image (s). This is no better than blaming everyone and everything else, it’s still an indulgence in blame – self-cruelty or self-judgement instead of blaming outwardly.

Many people can think they are being responsible when actually they are blaming or, with a martyred air, assuming a burden or victimhood, while planning their escape route or withdrawing emotionally. This defence mechanism of the ego or separate self can be very subtle and easily missed even by those witha  high degree of self-awareness. It is as energetically contracting as blaming others or outside circumstances.

Perhaps you find there is resistance to letting go of blame because you don’t want to let yourself or someone else ‘get away with it’. Or you ‘don’t want this to happen again’. The only thing you gain from that – besides more suffering – is being trapped in ‘being right’ instead of being free. Anything that can be seen from another perspective is never the deepest truth.

One of the most intriguing aspects of one to one and couple work, where we can really drill down and work finely, subtly, is what can happen when those who have related in a less than responsible way come to see that. The response to this drilling down can vary from grudging acceptance to disbelief that the projection or disowning hasn’t been seen before, to absolute relief and joy as they reclaim the lost energy.

How would it be if you were not blaming another person, the economy or anything else for what you experience in life? Fault free living empowers you into abundance in everything.

After an awakening, after just one glimpse of life’s unconditionality, it can be re-membered, even when the separate self has returned, that there is no cause and effect at all. For some, this becomes an excuse to say’ well it’s all perfect, I can do what I want’. Yes, life doesn’t mind. But what isn’t awakened in such an individual will not enjoy the consequences! Awakeness is not licence. Freedom is not self-absorption. Freedom is revealed as the freedom for all that is, it is not personal, and so impacting harmfully through words or actions is self-harm.

It is also seen in awakening that blame is impossible, illogical, deeply untrue, because there is nothing outside.

You are THE source of your reality. And so is everyone and everything else in your dream appearance. I call it a dream because after enquiry it is revealed to be wholly insubstantial (it is like a film played out by the projector of your mind) and this is how experience changes dramatically as self-responsibility increases. You are always making up reality. Make it a reality that reflects your deepest longings and intentions rather than a mirror of the past.

Many feel threatened by the thought of 100% responsibility, as though they are suddenly being accused of being responsibility for war, their parent’s illness and climate change. This law of life is actually a cause for celebration. What if responsibility for your life starts when you truly take it on and not before that? When this happens, it becomes clear how actions and results are intrinsically linked. So circumstance and relating becomes rich opportunity for learning, discovering and creatively collaborating. When you realise you are wholly responsible for your happiness and lack of it in every circumstance and every relationship, it is surprisingly enlivening!

Recognising, facing the fact, that you are wholly responsible for your fulfilment and your frustration can be terrifying as so much must then fall away, yet it is the only way to move from a victim consciousness to mastery. And then awakeness and high quality reflection from a guide, from authentic community can help you see through the veils that are so familiar that they are hard to see. Once you truly, deeply intend to make a conscious choice about how you respond to life, a new way of being can flower. Life becomes lighter and less threatening.

As light breaks down the past, Life may bring you interactions that are right on your edge of past conditioning/new respons-ability. Such interactions reveal new layers of victimhood. This doesn’t mean you are bad or should cave in to shame. There is a spiralling of awareness and awakeness. Taking full responsibility is always about being willing to jump off a cliff into more not knowing, more love-sometimes in the spiralling awakening journey there is then a jumping or crawling backwards into pride, suspicion and judgement.

The caterpillar experiences stages of growth or development. During every stage it moults what is no longer needed, and is able to grow larger each time, then makes a chrysalis. Finally, it emerges with wings. This caterpillar has become the beautiful butterfly, and we enjoy its colour and graceful movement, its freedom and lightness, its transparency, which speaks of the soul. This I suppose is why it was utterly obvious, without prior consideration, more than 20 years ago, that the butterfly must be the logo of Secret Garden. Here is where all those stages of dismantling (moulting) and awakening, can be safely experienced. Yet as Maya Angelou writes, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

Beauty, laughter, love and lightness are not accidental. They are a natural mystery, but most do not live naturally and wish to trample on mystery. As in the process of the caterpillar becoming a butterfly, transformation is the result of a journey. Awakening requires a willingness to travel through uncertainty and change and experience what one might often want to avoid -the shadow, the being seen, the mistakes that are always perfect, the conflicts, the misunderstandings. Challenges are an essential part of the process. This ‘journey’ to nowhere is necessary to align ourselves with where those deepest, most refined longings pull us.

But the personality does not wish to appear wrong or to have to lose anything, including even those things it recognises doesn’t serve its most natural, ease-ful expression. So it will blame and avoid taking ownership of its choices. This means that the humility which fosters learning is absent. Authority is blamed implicitly or explicitly in whatever form it is perceived. This is especially pertinent in the realm of awakening where gifts cannot be received from a guide unless there is humility and openness. This is never about losing sovereignty -the separate self’s greatest fear. A truly awakened guide will never wish to or try to take this from you. or even try to wake you up. Rather, will meet you where you are and occasionally offer insight only if permission has been implicitly granted. Perhaps respect, and co-operation and -above all-love and gratitude  for what those – only apparently – expressing authority can give. I have known this territory since teenage years intimately, gratefully, on ‘both sides’. A guide who is relating ‘from’ being, from no-thing, may use language, but the real connection and transmission is ‘underneath’ that. There is an energetic that transforms which has nothing to do with feelings or thoughts or content of a conversation. It is full awakeness, that finds itself in all – and this touches you deeply. That may trigger, upset, disturb, energise enquiry, or dissolve the apparent limits and open the heart. It doesnt really matter what the apparent effect is, if any aspect of awakening work is regarded as opportunity.

As light comes in, the shadows can look longer, feel harder to bear. But you are big enough! If someone or something triggers you, enquire deeply, move through the layers of conditioned self-justification. the trap is to get entangled with the other, why they did what they did, how wrong they were, and so on. Even if their words or behaviours appear questionable, it isn’t about them. The disempowerment of projection can be transformed into freedom and empowerment if you are only willing to be honest, and face into what is here. This is Essence work (find out more here). Choose to live expansively and intentionally then. Otherwise, one lives a half dead reality. a made up reality, devoid of love and aliveness. Enquire with discipline. Without discipline for this enquiring practice, there is no holding for the deepest intentions and longings that can heal the whole experience of being human. The wounded PAST crawls all over inner life and outer circumstance, justifying and spoiling. Do the work. Get on the mat. Find a radical self-honesty (which the ego will resist and defend in various tricky ways) Surrender to Life’s presenting need to do this with respect and humiity and love. Move energy to align with your deepest intentions. Until essence is revealed, shining, new.

In any relationship issue, or life situation the question becomes, what am I doing with this? How can I see this clearly? What is really going on underneath presenting thoughts and feelings? What can I do differently to create a different outcome?  Without this humility, lessons are not learned. Without seeing and acknowledging the impact one’s unconsciousness (blame is always unconsciousness of the deepest, of awakeness) has, the heart cannot grow. These can be hard learnings. Are you ready? Can you be disciplined?

Can you stay awake to how you trance-out and retreat into conditioned response?

Can you be willing to feel the fear and horror of vulnerability, yet drop what prevents it?  Enquire.

Welcome all the feelings and thoughts without editing, feel the desire to blame outside of yourself for this life that is happening, and as best you can let go of wanting to blame-self or others-for life being this way in this moment. You can have your mistrust, your pride, your judgements, your intellectual analysis, your blame or — you can give it all up-just for now-and LOVE FREE and JOYFULLY. Without problems. These are the rules of LIFE

When both people in relating (or everyone in a circle) in connection, step into wholeness, full self-responsibility, there is a stunningly beautiful and tangible energetic shift from conflict and competition to mutuality and creative collaboration. It is tempting and easy to go into – ‘he or she or they did something wrong and must be rejected, shamed or punished. I am demonstrably right’.  These are the moments in which, with a full breath, a new and creative response-ability can be found.

A movement OUT OF THE PAST happens, and the response can be to what is actually happening rather than to the past that lives in the body. This is how the past in us dies-the hold it has withers and freshness comes in. A new future is created. Of course,  often deep healing of the past at a deeply unconscious level makes the shifts more easily accessible. But don’t miss the power of relating in the present moment, whether in a circle or with a loved one, to melt away the past in you. Blame melts into wonder or at least empathy and reconciliation.

Moving beyond blame, we move through apparent obstacles easily and can take positive, constructive action, even if it is tiny steps in the beginning. There is a growing capacity to respond appropriately in every situation. Self-punishment and shame and fixed judgements become things of the past. Energy is focused on solutions and what makes life sweet, rather than those things you once labelled as ‘wrong’

You can have what is familiar and miserable, or a refreshing, revolutionary present time newness, where Love resides. It is always only ever your choice. And it becomes more spontaneous. What if every single thought or feeling or experience or story were simply an invitation to love? Beyond judgement, opinion or resistance….what if there can be a choice whether to accept that invitation or not..a conscious no or yes…until there is no choice, some day, and love is all, all is love.

I love to share forgiveness work (a lot more radical than forgiveness is mostly seen to be) which consistently produces this dissolution of all disturbance into Love. People create easy and quick change, accelerate forward movement, are nourished and energised by being connected with others, while doing what is true for them. This can only happen when there is full responsibility.  And it can only happen when the UNCONSCIOUS is involved. We cannot simply consciously decide to let go of blame and forgive – though that is helpful, we must engage on a deeper level of transformation.

Forgiveness work is core to the Hawaiian lineage of which I am a part and to all Secret Garden circles. Ho’oponopono takes many forms, and has many practical applications. I am so looking forward to exploring this in the Essence Online Let Go, Live Light course (find out more here) Forgiveness is RADICAL and revolutionary. It is counter Western culture with its politics and bombs, and the conditioned personality. If you wish to be happy, Let Go, Live Light is essence-ial!

Letting go of blame is very powerful in its positive effects in your life, and eventually you will see that it was one watershed on the way to so much limitation falling away. Life is allowed to unfold, just as it does. This frees up so much energy. And we tend to look for the mutually highest good in the way we act.

This woman writes so beautifully, in an ongoing group forum, of arriving at the love beyond blame ‘It’s been a very intense few days; clearly issues around ‘right and ‘wrong’…oh, what a mine field ! I lost my temper with someone at work, created stress for her and was insensitive to her boundaries while ‘needing’ to communicate the ways in which she had, as I felt, done wrong to me. It left me feeling very jangled inside and needing to find a way to soothe myself, or change the energy, it interfered with my ability to relax and enjoy and connect, it took over my space. She certainly rose to the occasion and fought for her sense of ‘being right’, naturally making me wrong in the process…that’s how it’s done ! She was a good mirror for me !
In my mind I wrote apologies but always ended up feeling, ‘that’s not right because she did such and such…’

When I got home I found an A4 peice of paper on my bed from an irate dog sitter using words like ‘disrespectful’ and ‘disgusting’.
I felt attacked in the same way that my co worker may well have felt from me – what the dog sitter was complaining about was not something that would have occurred to me to be a problem. I tasted then the harshness of this arena of right and wrong…whichever side I am on.
From here a true apology arose, I found that I could now drop my wanting my co worker to own her part in it – without doing this it didn’t feel like a true apology. ‘I apologise and…but…’   just doesn’t feel like an apology and so doesn’t shift the energy….And this humility that grew in me over the past days brings such tears (as I write it even) a softening and a ‘falling’ inside. As a child…I hid from my imperfections, my getting it wrong…they felt so unbearable. Just being with this is such an unravelling, so unbearable to feel and yet so essential to becoming human. It is a death but it opens a door to love, I can feel that.

I just want to say ‘I’m sorry’ over and over again…
to life, to anyone I’ve not ‘seen’, to myself…and see how far I have to fall’.  
Surahbhi McMellahn, Ashburton

That is how the doors open. Through humility and enquiry and letting it all go. All there is, is Love.

A few deep questions to ponder, beyond forgiveness – What if life is choiceless?

What if there is no cause and effect?

What if you and everyone else are not causing anything to occur?

What if things are unfolding choicelessly and all polarities are inevitable?

These can be challenging invitations ….but if you are drawn, bring these questions into your quiet daily practice.

Please do comment below and let me know how you are moving beyond blame or what prevents that. and questions also very welcome! Dive deeper at a live gathering or ongoing group



Deeply inspired, moved and challenged by your breath taking clarity. The ring of Truth is here in a pulsating and very alive way. Thank you Joy for this precious gift.


it’s a pleasure! thank you for responding. and let me know how it goes as you follow the inspiration xx

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