A way to avoid the feeling of guilt and its internal call to bring us to seeing our own part in relationship is by hanging on to blame. Blame becomes a wall between our hearts and seeing our own actions. It can be a way for us to avoid our own humanity.
Blame judges the ones we believe have harmed us so that we don’t have to feel our own hurt and often our own desire for restoration of relationship. We judge others as being unwilling, bad, or in denial so that we do not have to experience our own heart’s vulnerability to the ones who harmed us.
Through blame, we justify behaving like the people that we believe have harmed us, giving us the “right” to be hard-hearted or distant “because of them.” Blame helps avoid the guilt of refusing our own desire for restoration or reconciliation.
Blame and its rationalizations can keep our hearts numb to the pain of our own guilt, our own “side of the street,” so to speak. It can close off our desire for intimacy, deny our heart’s desire to reconcile with the other, and blind us to seeing our way to the “middle of the street.” We escape from the pain of guilt by not taking ownership for what we do to avoid our own hurt. We claim that our own harmful actions are justified; therefore, we don’t have to need others or God.
This right to be blind to our own actions, the right to remain stuck in resentment, and the right to use blame, becomes a form of false pride. Pride of this sort becomes the defiance that rejects our own human condition, the condition of how alike we all are. This pride, rooted in defiance of our own vulnerability, denies the heart’s hunger for relationship with others and God.
Pride won’t allow our hearts to need help from others or God. We hide our own heart’s hurt behind the walls of that which now isolates us from others and God. “I will not need,” becomes the right to remain separate from the hard work of admitting hurt, and even the forgiveness seeking that comes from the “right” to punish the one who hurt us.