Take the Blame

*Scenarios concerning life and love are never as simplistic as this example.

The [holy] Man on the Mountaintop (Trott, S. and Spurrier, L.) claimed that his ability to de-escalate two angry men was his philosophy and life practice to “Take the blame, but not the credit.”

These words resonated with me after an old friend told me that his ex was in therapy “because of him.” I thought of the way women operate and how our feelings get layered. Layers upon layers of emotion piled atop each other, forcing the original emotion to be suffocated by resentment and pain. We become disconnected from “the heart” of the issue; simultaneously, losing heart for those involved.

His ex had sought counseling because she could no longer cope with the anger she harbored within- about how the relationship faded and finally ended. But what was under that anger? Pain. Suffering. She was extremely hurt that she was no longer enough for him… to want her… Despite her feeling those same things about him! Nevertheless, rejection stings just the same. I could not imagine that her anger was only directed at him. She must have been angry at herself too, because she didn’t have it in herself either… to work it out. She held on to the pain and when it came time to resolve it, the pain was too comfortable of a position for her to let go.

The relationship was no longer sanctified.

The anger smothered the hurt, but what did the hurt extinguish?

Fondness and love! There was a time when they were in love…

Somewhere… along the path… Little points along the way… She held in those times she was disappointed and didn’t let go of times she was hurt by him. Another and another… slowly across time… The love and desire faded to complacency.

Not feeling… was easier… than being hurt. Staying busy in their own worlds… disconnected them from the One Heart. It was pushed further and further under layers of pain, resentment, dissatisfaction, anger, and loneliness.

Until one day, someone awakened to life outside the numbness of what they had become. After trying “one last time” to forgive and move forward together. To woo and please… but with no avail toward light for them. They both chose to move forward on their own.

And now, because he loved her once too, he’s pained by the blame and shame and regrets. I listened the first time he spoke of these things. So… I could remind him now, “You gave your all to save it. You left knowing that you tried. You both chose to be done.”

Yet now he’s blamed for the failure, for the therapy, for the way he’s moved on.

I’m thinking of the holy man and how he resolved the argument. He took the blame. “I’m sorry. It was my fault.” Despite having nothing to do with the fight! The men immediately showed relaxed postures and shared words of forgiveness. Would the same happen for the ones we’ve loved?  Even when we know that we are not truly to blame, there is power in taking it on.

If we all practiced, “I’m sorry. I take the blame.” Those of us who understand the beauty and benevolence of that statement can bear that cross and raise it up to God so that we can help the other person release the anger and hurt and return to a state of love.

Because in the end, love never dies. It only gets buried.

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