I am not interested in blame. I am interested in liberation. Liberation comes from profound self – knowledge. The knowledge that comes when all blame is dropped and the arrows that go out with every incident, trigger, annoyance, fury, and conflict turn around and come flying back to pierce us to our core, touching the places that we need to see and feel to come all the way home.  The mantra becomes “Let me take full self responsibility for myself. Let me see who I am in this relationship. Let me feel all of who I will be if I know myself fully.”

If there is no blame then the world becomes as deeply complex as it is. There is not one-way, there is not one perception, there is not a “right and a wrong” but a series of infinitely different styles and ways of being that are all part of the incredible multi-faceted universe we inhabit.

If you are not to blame then what am I to do? I must see. And how do I see? I begin with the places that want to blame. I begin with the energy that goes out. I let myself know it and feel it and taste it and smell it. I allow it to form the fully fleshed out image that I am projecting onto you. And then I take a step back. If you are not wrong, if you are not to blame then I must bring this figure back in. I must begin to look in every nook and cranny of my own being. Where have I not been myself, what have I withheld, what don’t I want to feel. What do I not accept? How do I want to be better than you or less than you? How do I make you responsible for my own discomfort? What would I have to face to take the blame off of you? How am I not allowing myself to be fully who I am?

There is a place where when I can do this I can drop all the way into my deepest being. I feel at home. I see myself, I see you. I see you and me as clearly as I can. And then the one thing I can do is I can tell you who I am. I can tell you how you affect me. I can own where you take me. And you can receive it or not. You can accept it or not. But I am liberated here. And I am honest here. And I am free here. I have choices here. I know I am human here. I know I am blind and you are blind. I know that the best way for you to see who you are is by me showing myself fearlessly, fully and truthfully. It is vulnerable. It is a risk, but it is the way of compassion, and courage and transformation. It is our ultimate power.

And I am still working on it in my most challenging situations.

It is a feeling so clean. And any hint of I am better, or I know more, or my way is the right way, or your way is the right way, any hint, and even one molecule of that means that I am not there. Because when I get to – there is no one to blame, not even me – I can begin to realize the need for every energy, every style, every being on this planet as a part of the whole. You bring things to this world that I cannot bring. You have things to teach me. If I stop blaming you and me I begin to find every feeling, belief, energy, sensation, every part of me. You are my mirror. I don’t need you to be anything other than you are. Thank you for helping me to discover more and more of who I am. Thank you for helping me to bring all parts of myself to consciousness.

This may seem deceptively simple and even naïve. But I have seen it in the most terrible circumstances. I have seen a father who has just lost three children in a bombing being transformed into the open heart of the world. I have seen the incredible power with which he spoke for peace, and a new way. He allowed this atrocity to take him to love, to crack his heart, to speak for peace, to become a leader  calling for an end to violence, to work with all his might to reach out his hand to his enemy and say, join me. Let us not allow this to keep happening to others, not even the children of those who did this to me.

If every day we used the places that trigger us and cause us pain and discomfort to be the road we walk towards home on, to be the place where we practice going in, not out, to feel what we are afraid to feel, then this would be the walk towards peace and power and understanding. This would be the realization that we are profoundly different beings and that those who cause us the most discomfort are those who have the biggest keys to our self-awareness. Let them take you home. Let them teach you who you are. Let them turn you into the one who walks this world with acceptance and joy. Let them teach you to be honest. Let them walk you right into those places you most fear inside. Let them teach you to be a human among humans. Let them humble you. Let them teach you of your pain. Let them develop you. Thank them for being your teacher. And then see if you can see them for who they are. Humans, just like you, struggling to live this life. You will become a flame. You will become a light. You will become one who transforms those around you with your very being.

Beware of those offering help who don’t ask this of you. They are not interested in your liberation.

I want to see, I want to know, I want to be developed in all my facets. Let me accept discomfort, let me not turn away, let me not take the easy way out. Let me notice all the places I try to abdicate my own willingness to know what is in me.

-Ann Bradney

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