I used to. A lot…
for the me I long-thought and deep-felt myself to be
(soul o’erwhelmed by an ever-flowing stream of thoughts of my selflessness;
meaning I had [I was] no self,
and spirit o’erladen with the burden
of guilt for such I thought and
of shame of being the one who thought what he thought;
thoughts, the origins of which I could not trace [and untraceable
Aye, I blamed you for having made me invisible;
a living, breathing apparition
who (no, not a who, for “who” means “person”, but rather)
that cast no shadow.
For I was the one you saw only through the lens of your vision
of what I was s’pposed to be.
And as you did not…could not see me
I, resentful, refused to see you.
Who you were.
What you were trying to do.
It took me a long time
(to date, a life-time)
to know better,
(both for you and for me)
I am who I am
and who I am becoming.
And I must
thank you for this,
for I could not have gotten here
had I not been there
I was before.
10 thoughts on “I don’t blame you anymore.”
Is this poem a further development on the subject of the conversation from a couple of weeks ago? Is the “you” who I think it is? This seems to be a very significant piece of writing, not that most of what you write isn’t significant, but this seems to mark an important shift in perspective.
It’s so compelling to watch people grow, change, make discoveries, like watching a garden grow, only so much better.
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Ok sooooooooo THIS!!!!! I agree with Karen that this is so important to know where you’ve been and growing to become where you are now!!!
This poem kinda made my heart hurt.. not because I need to stop blaming someone because I don’t. BUT I think so much about not having a relationship with my sister for most of our lives together because she blamed me for my father leaving us all those years ago. And of course it had nothing to do with me, but by the time she realized it she had blamed me for so long and had difficulty letting it go. That was sad. I think about what our life would be like today if she was here and we’d be raising our grandkids together. It’s such a shame we lost all of those years and all the love we could have been sharing.
I applaud you for this poem and for where you are today. It’s great to be able to let things go.
Much love to you!!
Karen, the “you” is my parents. I reflected a bit on this in my sermon of last Sunday when I wrote/said: “There was much motherly care that my mother, for reasons of her upbringing and her being, was not able to give to me. Oft I thought, I hoped, doubtlessly selfishly, that, as long as she lived, one day, somehow, I would receive from her the grace of her blessing of me as an individual, a person, and not one who had to be conformed into her and my father’s image.” It is especially this last bit, being made to conform to their image that had the deleterious effect of making me invisible – I felt to them and, surely, I knew for and to myself. My life’s journey has been one of near-constant self-discovery and self-awareness, which probably explains why I am such a dyed-in-the-wool existentialist whose life issues and questions are: Why am I? (identity) Where am I going, who am I becoming? (destiny) What will I leave for those who live after my death? (legacy) And this poem figuratively and literally poured out of my veins through my hands an onto the paper, then recommitted to cybertext.
Loretta, how oft I’ve grieved for the loss of your relationship with your sister for, lo, those many, many years when she, regrettably and wrongly, held you responsible for the departure of your father from your lives. I am grateful for the healing you two experienced in Renee’s latter and last days, though unbelievably difficult those days were!
As I contemplate it, blame is one of the first and most employed tools, I think, of the powerless, that is, when we humans are powerless over our damaging circumstances. Renee blamed you. I blamed my parents (perhaps, more, my mother, for she was the kinder of the two, hence, I expected, wanted, needed more compassion from her than I believed was to have been forthcoming from my father). It’s take a looongg time to get to this place of acceptance of what was, acceptance of who I am and who I am becoming, thus, freeing me to be free of the resentment I’ve borne as one of my crucifixion crosses all these years.
Love you two, and thanking you always for reading and commenting,
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Thank you for answering my questions, for confirming what I thought to be the case. I recognize so much of what you wrote in response as so similar to my own journey, which we two have noted in the past, the struggle for validation as the autonomous individual you ultimately have no choice but to be if you are to be authentic, even though there are powerful pressures to be something vastly different.
Thank you also for identifying blame as a refuge for the powerless. This shouldn’t be a new thought for me, but I have never examined it closely enough. It is something I believe could be transformational with regard to my own coming to grips with my relationship with my brother, just as it must have been for Loretta with regard to her sister. Loretta, I now remember this from your book. What a heartbreaking reality for both you and Renee. I am so sorry for that loss but, like Paul, grateful that the two of you experienced some healing before Renee passed away.
I give thanks for the two of you and the examples you set before my eyes of clear-eyed, strong-voiced growth and acceptance and constant living in love not only of others but also of the Selves you not only are, but are also consistently, joyfully becoming.
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We three have a definite mutual admiration society going on!! Karen I’m absolutely thrilled that I’ve had the opportunity to get to know you through Paul and his awesome blog!! How amazing for you to remember my relationship with Renee!! I wish my relationship with my niece was stronger but at least I have one. I love the person I’m becoming, even though I wish Tim was still here to be a part of it all!
I love that through this blog and my own blog I get to explore deeply what I’m thinking and feeling AND what I’d never think of on my own!!
Much love to you both!! And now, off to Sea World!!
And I thank you, Karen, for giving me a train…a trail of thought to ride…to pursue…
Yes, I do believe that autonomy is a birthright – an aspect of our having been created – for, as you, I believe it is an part and parcel of what it is to live authentically. And, yes, sadly, though with open eyes, I observe with you that there can be and are manifold impediments to our aspiring to and claiming our human autonomy…
In this, Esau comes to mind; he being one who renounced his birthright. It occurs to me – and this is the train or trail of thought I must ponder – that, speaking always and only for myself, for many, many years, I had no sight of what it meant to live autonomously, to be autonomous. The impediments that veiled my sight were all I could see clearly. Now, looking (pun intended!) back, I behold that my blame-casting behaviors, though, yes, in the beginning (when did it start? I don’t know), a defense against the hurt and a tool of the anger, became, over time, less a protective suit of armor and more a self-imposed-too-small-sized-and-suffocating prison. And, in this realization, I recognize that I, as Esau, but perhaps not as consciously and more as an effect of my seemingly (but pseudo-) self-preserving behaviors, renounced my birthright…
It’s taken quite the while to claim it. I suppose I could castigate myself for having taken so damnably long to allow God – as God always is doing – do a new thing in me. But that would be to sink again into blaming, in this case, myself, verily, my self. And I pray to choose not.
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First, Loretta, you have a blog??? And I’m not a subscriber??? How can this be? Please, will you send me a link? I have to get on the subscriber list! I don’t want to miss any of your wisdom and your beautifully lived and expressed love for this life and this world.
And second, Paul. your reference to Esau is so apt, so right-on, as we once said in the sixties. And the realization that your defensive blaming finally came to imprison you is something I have vaguely intuitively understood, but your words have shed a bright light on this pattern in my brother’s tragic life and my own responses to him. This is something I have struggled with for so long without hope of understanding and have recently begun to seek entry to again. Your words may be a key that will unlock that door that has been closed to me for so long. I am spending time with Esau and Jacob for a while, I think, and with your experience with your parents. I thank you for this precious gift of insight.
When you spoke of castigating yourself for taking so long to begin to live into the incredible human being you are, I had a vision of a ancient, giant oak tree apologizing to Mother Nature for having taken so long to become its huge, complex, beautiful self. I’ve heard it said, “Things take as long as they take.” I think all the steps along the way to the transformation you have experienced each fed into the great process of transformation and couldn’t be skipped or hurried. Every day built its part into the creation that was being slowly, miraculously formed over the course of your life thus far. And as you know and I know, there’s human time and there’s God’s time, and most of the time we’re thinking of human time, which doesn’t matter all that much in the eternal scheme of things. What matters is we live day by day what needs to be lived and, by the grace of God/Love, what happens during that living is what needs to happen for God/Love to prevail and create authentic, autonomous Self to bless the world.
Amazing conversations here these days, my friends. I’m so glad you are both in my life.
With much gratitude, admiration and love,
YES, YES, YES I do!!!!
More later!! Just arrived at Sea World!!
My dear Karen, I thank you for this: “…a vision of a ancient, giant oak tree apologizing to Mother Nature for having taken so long to become its huge, complex, beautiful self. I’ve heard it said, “Things take as long as they take.” I think all the steps along the way to the transformation you have experienced each fed into the great process of transformation and couldn’t be skipped or hurried…” This thought, image is and will be exceedingly helpful…hopeful to and for me when again, as I trust I will do, slip into the mode of berating myself for my slow arising consciousness of being and becoming the best I can be in God’s sight…
And that I could offer you a word of insight via the relationship of Esau and Jacob, gladdens my heart…
And, yes, Loretta has a blog! So happy this connection hath been made. Happy reading and reflecting all round!