We bought the boys season tickets to Sundance this year. They ski. I don’t. So I often drop them off, then sit in the parking lot or the lodge at Sundance, and listen to podcasts.

And that, my friend, is where you are finding me today.

Shame/blame trap.

“We get in this loop that I call the ‘shame blame trap’. And we sort of loop back and forth from shame to blame. And it feels terrible. And because it’s a loop, we’re not able to get out of it. We stay stuck in it… And this loop that feels so terrible is all based in lies. It’s not based in truth at all, but it feels true. It feels important. It feels justified. It feels necessary. And none of those things are true, because the only things that are true are things that feel loving, focused, kind, compassionate, and honest.”

Got that? Really look at that again. What is true? Let’s get into this!

SHAME: Something is wrong with me. Something in life goes differently than we wanted it to go, and we think that if we were better or more whole or whatever, this thing would have never happened. Shame feels terrible.

BLAME: Instead of saying this is my fault, as we would in shame, we say this is your fault. They shouldn’t have done that. Everything would have worked if this person hadn’t done that. Blame also feel terrible.

Blame feels terrible, but maybe slightly less terrible than shame. We blame people, we blame situations, we blame a system, we blame God. We start building our case, we get supporters, we get validation, and we don’t feel better, but we feel different than we felt in shame.

Lies we tell ourselves in shame/blame trap: We are powerful, we are right, we will get relief from shame or from blame, etc.

“When we’re in this shame blame loop, we loop back and forth, seeking some peace. That’s what our brains are seeking – how can I feel at peace, how can I feel better about this? And shame and blame – both of those – feel terrible, and neither of those will ever offer us the relief that we’re looking for…

I want you to know that the way out of the shame blame trap is to access truth and to drop down beneath the brain chatter to what is really true.”

Truth. Maybe I can justify shame, or maybe I can justify blame. Maybe I can justify feeling terrible. But, I still have to feel terrible in the end. Justification doesn’t bring relief.

Truth. Nothing has gone wrong here. We have made choices, and those choices have taken us back to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, right? Right back there with Adam and Eve. The choices have given us experience. It is part of the plan. Mistakes are part of the plan. Experience is part of the plan.

Truth. We mess up. A lot.

Truth. But we are still good.

Truth. Other people will mess up. A lot.

Truth. But they are still good.

Truth. We create our own emotions and our own experiences.

“No one’s ever to blame for my experience and nothing is wrong with me either.”

This has been so instructive today. Where am I at right now in the trap? What truth can I use to get out of the trap?

“I love you. I love me. I love us. We’re all good. We’re all a terrible hot mess. And it’s all fine.”

Next DAY #71 DRAMA


  1. […] DAY #70 THE SHAME BLAME TRAP […]

  2. […] listen to and for the truth, in things presented to them as well as in their own thoughts – “The only things that are true are things that feel loving, focused, kind, compassionate, and […]

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