The Art of Being: December 2021

The Art of Being
Deborah Chandler, Ph.D.

December 2021

Self-blame is the residual of childhood trauma. The impact of self-blame reduces us to feelings of guilt and unworthiness.

Self-blame contains a fantasy of omnipotence. This belief in our omnipotent power derives from misunderstanding the source of our discontent. Self-blame assumes that if we were a better version of ourselves, we would be unconditionally accepted. This initially occurs between parents and children.

Children readily accept the omnipotence of their parents. Therefore, devaluation from parents becomes internalized as a need to please and erase the loss of self-esteem. Thus children, even into adulthood, are both devalued and have the burden of proving their worth.

What self-blame does not account for is the behavior of others. When vulnerable, we are easily influenced by the attitudes of others. We accept others devaluation as real. But these expressions of devaluation derive from the internalized self-blame of the perpetrator. Self-blame becomes a cycle of projected devaluation. We integrate the devaluation of the other into our self-concept. We then project this reduced valuation onto others. This is a cycle of negativity.

Self-blame includes the fantasy that we have control over how others relate to us. That if we were more pleasing in word, deed, or appearance, we would receive the validation we crave. Actually, our behavior is not in charge of how others behave. Other’s lack of validation is theirs.

Once we understand that self-blame is a conditioned response, we tackle dismantling this toxic influence. We could begin by more keenly observing the struggles others have with their own self-worth. We notice the fragility of other’s egos. We notice that those that blame the most, cover-up the most, hiding their own self-doubt. Those that have found positive self-regard, have no need to disrespect others.

For me, I find different modalities confront my inner demon of self-blame. I have always relied upon physical activity to positively establish my inner confidence. Dancing transcends self-doubt. Keeping good company is essential. I seek out those who have positive self-regard. Even more significantly, I appreciate those who talk about their inner demons and how they confront their inner-doubt with positive affirmations.

We all face the challenge of establishing an inner core of positive self-regard. These efforts become part of an overall strategy of side-stepping negativity. The more we surround our selves with light and gratitude, the more we leave the restricting arena of self-blame and enjoy the light of affirmation.

Purpose to clear blocks to a full appreciation of who we really are. Wondrous articulations of awareness.