By Ruchira Sehgal October 2011 As human beings, blame comes more naturally to us, but if we bless the person or situation, it is a blessing for us too, muses Ruchira Sehgal One day, while sitting in a coffee shop I looked in the mirror and saw a stranger. I was looking miserable. I was going through a rough patch and being happy seemed a challenge. I kept asking myself, ‘What do I do to be happy? I meditate, I try to forget unpleasant things and I easily forgive people. Yet I feel deprived of love and peace. My family members do not understand me, friends do not support me and my boyfriend is unconcerned.’ That is when I realised that my attempts to forgive people were superficial, because deep within I continued to believe that others were at fault. To forgive, I first needed to stop blaming. Of course, at that time, I had not seen the bigger picture. If I could have flash forwarded my life, I would have known how important some lessons were for my betterment. It would have helped me understand sooner that my friends, family and my boyfriend were all helping me shape my life and become a much better person. I realised that when unexpected things happen in life, blessing people rather than blaming them, is always a better option. Looking back, I regret blaming, but never blessing anyone. Blame game My relationship with my boyfriend died because of the constant fights, heated arguments and accusations we threw at each other. Much after the relationship ended and I started missing him, I realised it was all so unnecessary. We were both very wrong somewhere. Instead of admitting it, we chose to blame the other because it was easier. Maybe I wouldn’t have been able to save that relationship, but at least the time I wasted in the blame game, could have been spent in loving him. That realisation, however, did not stop me from dropping the blame game completely, especially when I felt some friends had betrayed me. I still sometimes make wrong decisions and unconsciously blame people but now I remember to consciously forgive others and myself I knew I could be happy only if I moved on. I knew I had to forgive but it wasn’t coming. All the time, my mind argued why I should forgive and release the ‘other’ person from guilt. I wanted God to teach them a lesson and felt that ‘they’ should also experience what I had gone through. I shared my thoughts with my pranic healing instructor, Abe. I asked her why I should stop blaming others and how I could do it. She said, “Imagine you have a glass of water and there is mud settled at the bottom. Bring a spoon and stir it. What would happen?” I said, “It will become muddy water.” To this she said, “Yes, we are all like water in the glass and the settled mud is our karma. Sometimes, someone comes as a spoon and stirs our life. We think the mud is brought by the spoon and blame the spoon, but the mud was always ours. In fact, the spoon while going out takes a part of the mud with itself.” It was a moment of epiphany. It made me reflect. I could see that others behaved with me in the same way that I chose to behave with some others. Yet I chose to be hurt and unhappy at the behaviour directed towards me and failed to notice that I did the same. The radiant Abe concluded, “Instead of blaming, we should actually bless the spoon for making us a lot more clearer.” Blaming oneself There have been times when I blamed myself too. Some incidents shattered my confidence and I cultivated the habit of blaming myself for constantly making wrong decisions and for not doing anything to change my circumstances. I thought I was incompetent, undeserving and a good for nothing. My final year exams had started and I couldn’t give my first exam, because of an illness. The university gave me a choice; either I could accept a BA degree or wait another year to appear for the exam and get the BA honours English degree. I chose to wait but that year sitting at home made me feel like a failure. In retrospect, though, that was the year that taught me the most. I introspected and realised that I was someone who had no control over herself, emotions or thoughts. My decisions were always taken on impulse and I lacked accurate judgement. I did what I I believe whenever the harmony of any relationship is disturbed there is a lesson to learn. I prefer to therefore keep my guards down and not be too defensive wanted to, made mistakes, never learnt and later cursed myself. I repeated the same pattern over and over again, creating a negative belief pattern. Applying Abe’s logic to my pattern, I saw that a self-blamer becomes the glass that holds the mud, and the water is never clear, no matter how many spoons come and go. I decided to bless myself, just as I would bless others. I read a lot about self-love in Life Positive magazine. I also read Heal your life by Louise Hay. As an exercise, I decided to make a list of things I would love to do for myself and also start doing them as a mark of my love for myself. The list went like this: I love musicI love surfingI love bhindi I love drivingI love writing… One thing led to another and I couldn’t stop writing. I finished with ‘I love myself’. Until then I had not realised how many things I really loved and the goals I would love to accomplish. I realised that patience was not only a key to success but also afforded an opportunity to understand the situation, make corrections and give oneself a chance and time to re-discover. I started being patient. I practised forgiving myself before forgiving others and then blessing them became an easy thing to do. Being blamed As they say, sometimes you are the statue and sometimes you are the pigeon. There are times when I have been blamed and I became the spoon in their story. Instead of retaliating, I chose to introspect on those occasions. If my actions had indeed been blame-worthy then I was being offered a valuable lesson. I believe whenever the harmony of any relationship is disturbed there is a lesson to learn. I prefer to therefore keep my guards down and not be too defensive. One of my seniors used to accuse me of not being pro-active which in turn was affecting her performance levels. One day, she screamed at me. Ruchira Sehgal is an inquisitivestudent of life, eager learnerand a story-teller by profession.But above all, she is a seeker I wanted to ignore the humiliation, but I decided to think over what she had said. I realised that while I was doing my job, perhaps I could anticipate problems before they arose and take corrective steps. I realised her feedback was for my own good, and decided to increase my speed. However, not all those who blame have one’s interests at heart. Many blame in order to keep an upper hand in the transaction. Blaming is the favourite tool for those who want to dominate and manipulate. It is also a defence mechanism for some. When I meet such people, I just let them be. I do not want their mud in my glass. I listen to them, apologise, bless them and move on in my journey. Blessings As Shakespeare said “to err is human”. I still sometimes make wrong decisions and unconsciously blame people but now I remember to consciously forgive others and myself.I no longer feel powerless in any situation because I know, if nothing else, I can still bless. Every single word used to bless, becomes my reason of happiness, and opens me to receive more from the universe. Since the universe works on an exchange programme and nothing is ever wasted, blessings given to others would come back, if not from the same source, then from some other source. So bless and be blessed. May God bless you!
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