Should Therapists Encourage People to Blame?

Who do you blame when things go wrong? Yourself? Someone else? The world in general? Whatever your answer, don't fret. Despite what we have all been told about not blaming people, we all blame someone at times. The thing is, most of the blaming we do we don't even intend to do. It just comes out of us. Moreover, there's even a time when choosing to blame someone can make things better. Can you imagine? This then will be our topic in this episode of Plain Talk about Talk Therapy. Blame. What it is. Why we do it. And what is good about it. Do you think you already know? You may. Just the same, let's see.

"The Blame Game"

Blame. It's everywhere. So much so, we could almost say it's the universal American pastime. And while we often tell young children that they shouldn't blame anyone, as adults, we blame everyone from the pope to the post office. So what makes us do this? And why can't we stop? This is what we're about to talk about.

Why talk about blame in a book on talk therapy? Because no other topic takes up more time in a talk therapy office than whose fault things are. Not sex. Not money. Not children. Not parents. In fact, of all the things we talk about in therapy, who to blame may be at the top of the list.

So am I saying everyone blames? Yes I am. In fact, we even at times refer to blaming as a "game," this despite the fact that being blamed hurts like hell. By the way, have you any idea where this phrase came from? It came from a presidential speech. In 1982. October 14th to be exact. Oddly this phrase became one of this president's more lasting contributions. The president? Ronald Reagan. Who first used these words in a speech in which he blamed those who blamed him for the failing economy; "In recent weeks, a lot of people have been playing the blame game."

Blaming people for blaming people. We get taught that we shouldn't blame anyone. Yet even presidents do it.

What makes me see what President Reagan said as blame? And wasn't what he said justified? Good questions. I'll answer them both at some point during this episode. For now, I'd like to just focus on the nature of blame itself. Especially on how blame affects our chances to succeed in talk therapy. Simply put, it hurts our chances. A lot. At the same time, it is not the sign of personal malfunctioning some folks would have us believe it to be either. You see, while we all feel urges to blame at times, many times, these urges are followed by secondary urges to forgive.

Why mention these two things together? Because blaming and forgiving both refer to the same part of our nature. The fault finding part. Moreover, while most of us see these two things as being totally different; one good, the other bad, in reality, they are not all that different. In fact, the biggest difference between them lies in when they occur. Blame occurs on the front end. And forgiveness on the back end. In effect then, blame and forgiveness are two sides of the same coin, and if we didn't feel so many urges to blame, we wouldn't have anything to forgive.

How about just sucking it up and pretending we feel fine? Isn't this better than hurting people? The truth? Not really. In fact pretending we don't feel these urges to blame is sort of like repairing the cracked Ming vase by smearing shoe polish into the crack. Something's just not right there even if we cannot see what.

Why do we need to blame anyway? And why don't we simply bypass these urges and go directly to the real source of the problem? Or directly to forgiveness for that matter?

Well consider what the philosophers tell us about blame; that to err is human and to forgive divine. Here then is a clue as to what makes people think it is so normal to blame and so hard to forgive. If you believe in a punishing god (and we all pretty much do at least in part), then screwing up is the human part and forgiveness is the God part. And both are just the way it is. On the other hand, if this is true, then are we doomed? And how should talk therapy handle all this?

Let's start with this. All talk therapy makes assumptions about human nature. It has to in order to know how to help people. Thus I think we need to look at the nature of blame itself. For instance, what does Emergence Personality Theory have to tell us about blame?

To start with, Emergence Personality Theory sees blame as the focus of three out of the ten layers of personality. At the least then, blame accounts for a full thirty percent of who we are as people if fact. No small thing, this blame. And in a moment, we're going to delve deeper into what this theory has to say about blame. Before we do though, let's look at what the average person thinks about why we blame.

What makes us blame?

Actually, there are several reasons. The main one being that, as the philosophers infer, there is an error built into the human mind; the idea that suffering is optional. This causes us to believe that when we suffer, we must have done something wrong.

In effect then, no matter how we label our suffering; as evil, disease, mental illness, neglect, abuse, done on purpose, whatever; if suffering happens, we believe someone caused it by making an error or worse by purposely doing something wrong.

This then is a good starting point in our discussion. We, by nature, blame because we frame our suffering as either mistakes or wrongdoings. And this idea is apparent even in dictionaries. Even in my twenty three volume OED, the world's largest tome on the English language.

So what does the OED say about blame?

As it turns out, the word "blame" originates from a Greek word which roughly translates to the word "blasphemy." Hmmmm. The OED then goes on to tell us that blame is an "impious irreverence." As well as a slander, an evil speaking, and a defamation. It also means to charge with, to accuse, to discredit, to chide, to scold, to rebuke, and to reproach. Finally, this whole heap of human dung slinging gets summarized as "the things we say against someone."

Sure sounds complicated, doesn't it? And yet, if blame accounts for a full thirty percent of human nature, it seems only right then that its definition would be this complex. Even in its original form.

Why refer to what I've just said as the word "blame" in it's original form?

Because we who live in modern times get to enjoy the new and expanded version of the word blame. The one in which the meaning changes from "the dung slung" to "the wrong doer is the dung."

In essence then, for a long time, blame referred to the things we say against someone. Oh, if it had only remained this simple. Unfortunately, in modern times, we have somehow enlarged the scope of this word by combining its original meaning; the things we say against someone, with that this someone caused these things. In other words, while the word blame originally meant to say bad things against another, when we blame people now, we see both what they do (the original meaning) and who they are (the modern meaning) as bad. Along with the idea that they are also the cause of this badness and the one responsible for fixing it.

Holy smokes, Batman. Are you beginning to see what makes this word such a complicated mess! And why it takes up so much space and time in talk therapy.

In a sense then, when we blame people, we see them as both the devil and the redeemer. Or as the idiot who did it and the genius who must find the cure. All of which makes blame just about the worst mindfuck in all of human personality. In the top five, to be sure.

How then can we possibly deal in talk therapy with something as complex as blame? My initial thoughts? Perhaps by finding its literal converse. Blame's alter ego. And lest you see this alter ego as "forgiveness," consider what I said a moment ago; that if we did not see people as having done something wrong, then we would have nothing to forgive. Hence, my idea that blame and forgiveness are two sides of the same coin.

What is the converse of blame then?

The OED says the converse of the word "blame" is "to praise."

To praise?

If you then look up the origin of the word "to praise," you find that it originated from an Old French word which meant, "to prize."

Sounds logical.

It then goes on to say that to praise is to value, honor, esteem, laud, eulogize, value, commend, and extol.

Here again though, in modern times, we've expanded the scope of this word and added some dung. Thus the word praise, which started out life as a way to heap good onto things can now also mean to "judge the good in things." As in when we use this word in its expanded modern form; "to appraise."

Dung slinging aside, here then is a starting point from which to talk about blame in talk therapy. By seeing these two words; to "blame" and to "praise," as two ends of a single continuum within personality, we begin to get a sense of what this part of human nature is truly like. Arguably this idea may be one of the more important concepts a therapist could ever teach a client. Why? Because people who go to therapy mainly go there in order to find a way to end their suffering. And because suffering people by nature look for someone or something to blame. This makes addressing blame one of the main things we do in talk therapy.

Where then does the remedy lie? Here I think the answer lies in what Eastern philosophy says about suffering; the idea that what you resist persists. This implies that the remedy we seek lies more in finding the good in blaming than in not doing it. Not just in mere rationalizations, mind you. We already do too much of that. No. Rather, we need to find the beauty in blaming people. Personally. Authentically. And sincerely.

Does what I am suggesting sound crazy to you? And if not, does it seem impossible? It's not. In fact, my whole point for writing this episode on blame is to show you where to look for just such beauty. At least, the place in which to start looking for this beauty. And lest I not be saying this idea clearly enough, let me say this once more.

I think the best way for a talk therapy to address blame is to first honestly honor these feelings in people and then to look for the good in them. The beauty hidden within these feelings which people normally cannot see.

If we can learn to do this then blame becomes something wonderful; a genuinely spiritual healing agent.

Can't be, right? Please know it is. Although I admit, learning to use blame as a healing agent can take some time and effort. This said, if you really put your mind to it, you can learn to do this.

Where do we start? We start by taking a blameless look at the nature of blame. Which is to say, with Emergence Personality Theory's take on blame. Are you ready to begin the adventure? Here we go.

The Three Kinds of Blame

How then does Emergence Personality Theory define blame?

According to Emergence Personality Theory, blame falls into three categories, each a nested layer. Thus, seen as the ten layers of the Onion of Personality, the three kinds of blame are, Excusing Blame (the 2nd Layer of the Onion), Time Limited Blame (the 3rd Layer of the Onion), and Punishing Blame (the 4th Layer of the Onion). Or seen as the ten nested dolls of the Russian Nesting Doll metaphor, we refer to these Layers as Punishing Questions, Explanations, and Excuses for Not Punishing (Doll 2), Time-Limited Punishments (Doll 3), and Eternal Punishments (Doll 4).

What does all this mean?

Let's start by picturing all ten nesting dolls closed up one inside another. At this point then, the only doll you can see is Doll Number One, the doll of Personal Non Existence. Why start here? Because when bad things happen in your life, this is where we often go first. To where? To the place in which we most resemble turtles. To our zone out space, in other words.

This is what being Doll Number One is like. We are off duty and will deal with the problem later.

The important thing to see is why we do this and how it affects out urges to blame. We do it because when we're closed up and shut down, we do not feel the pain. And if we don't feel the pain, then we have no reason to blame. In other words, no pain, no blame. Not bad. Then again, we can't stay closed up forever and hope to in any way have a happy life. Numbness is not joy. Thus, as a temporary sorting out place, Doll Number One is fine. But as a way to live. No way.

This then is the first important thing to know about blame. We blame only when we feel pain of some sort or another. No pain. No blame. And yes, seeing people be numb in painful events can be quite confusing at times. Nevertheless, if we don't feel pain, we cannot feel urges to blame. Moreover, this holds true no matter how bad the situation may appear to be.

How does this look out in life? Let's say you get into a car accident. An accident wherein someone cuts you off. Say both cars get dented up pretty badly and that you are both now waiting for the police to come. If you are in Layer One, you may be polite and cordial to the other driver, even if you believe the other person to be at fault.

You might even find yourself reassuring this other driver that it wasn't her fault. Which makes you appear more like the Dali Lama than a human being for a moment. Not such a bad thing to be doing really.

So do you mean any of these reassurances? In fact, yes, you do. At least, you mean then in as sincere a way as a personally non existent person can mean anything. Which is to say, you say them sincerely but not with much depth. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? You sincerely and impersonally mean what you are saying. Despite this apparent contradiction though, you mean what you are saying none the less. You are simply being as honest as a numb person can be.

What happens next?

The police arrive. And they begin to take your statements. At which point, you find yourself having to open up a bit. Usually to the level of Doll Number Two; Punishing Questions, Explanations and Excuses for Not Blaming. Thus, as you give your statement, you find yourself saying things like, "why the hell did she do that to me"; certainly a punishing question if ever there was one.

In addition, you find yourself intellectually explaining why it wasn't all your fault. Or not your fault at all. Perhaps because there were extenuating circumstances like that the tractor trailer behind you was making you feel nervous. Or that the woman who cut you off was on her cell phone at the time.

Not very flattering to the driver you just comforted. But is this blame?

Yes, it is. You see the basic quality present in all things blaming is that you attribute the cause of some suffering to some person, place, thing, or circumstances. In other words, when you explain why something happened; the psychological cause of why it happened, you are blaming this event on the things and people which, if they did not do what they did, would have, in theory, prevented this painful event.

This then is what makes me say these Doll Number Two type statements are blaming. When you attribute the cause of suffering to some person, place, or thing, you imply that it could have been avoided. And if something could have been avoided, then it occurred because someone screwed up.

Something else which often happens at the level of Doll Number Two is that after people make these kinds of accusatory statements, they often tack on ameliorating comments. Things like that "these things happen" or "it's all in God's plan." In effect, we are attempting to soften the blows we just inflicted by smoothing things over with a philosophical or spiritual band aid. Some type of kind but distant words meant to offset some of the blame.

Yet a third thing people often do at the level of Doll Number Two is that they redirect some of the blame they just said away from the just blamed person and onto some larger group. The county road department perhaps or the state traffic planning commission.

All this said, here again, we see just how complicated blame can be. And why Emergence Personality Theory sees what we do at the level of Doll Number Two as Punishing Questions, Explanations and Excuses for Not Blaming.

What happens next? Time passes. In fact, let's say that several hours have passed and that you and a friend are now sitting in a hospital waiting room. Aptly named, don't you think. No room in all of the history of humanity has made more people wait than a hospital waiting room. Which may be why we so often get testy when we're waiting there.

What does our nature dictate we do when we get testy? We open up to the level of Doll Number Three; Time-Limited Punishments.

What exactly are time limited punishments? Picture this. You and your friend have been sitting there for about two hours now. Still no signs of life at the admission window. Other than that the android on the other side of the glass is continuing to smile that plastic "not yet" smile. And two hours is a long time. So long in fact that by now, both you and your friend have rehashed the accident many times over. Along with everything that is bad in the world in general. Which indicates that one of the most painful things in all of human personality is now brewing in you two. Boredom. At which point the blame game begins in earnest.

In other words, at this point, your suffering has increased to the point at which you must vent blame in greater amounts. Thus, you start blaming this woman once more, this time including that she should have to suffer a few punishments for all the pain her stupidity has inflicted on you. A few minutes of the red hot poker maybe. Or three days chained naked in the town square with the hot sun scorching every inch of her body perhaps. With maybe a few instances of a hearty boxing round the ears and head thrown in for good measure.

Time limited punishments. The world of blame according to Doll Number Three. Nothing permanent mind you. But something you feel is to roughly equal to the pain you are now suffering.

And if these two hours stretch into four. What then?

At this point, you begin to lose it entirely, meaning, you open up to the level of Doll Number Four. Here, the discussion rapidly begins to move into the realm of Eternal Punishments. In other words, things really begin to get ugly. Including that you say things like that they should take all women drivers out and shoot them. No thought to that you yourself are a woman. No matter. Kill 'em all. No warning. Just for holding a driver's license.

In all likelihood, your friend's no help. She too joins in and before you know it, the two of you are angry enough to burn down the building. And if you are really fortunate, the things you two propose get so absurd that they finally make you both laugh. At which point the tension breaks and your mind resets.

Here then are the three ways we blame people. Including ourselves.

One. We ask them punishing questions, explain why they were stupid and wrong, and make excuses for their having done this wrong. This is what happens at the level of Doll Number Two.

Two. We dream up temporary suffering we'd like to thrown back at them, or us, for what we are going through. Painful karmic justice dispensed liberally but not for long. This is what happens at the level of Doll Number Three.

Three. We dream up eternal damnations such as what people went through in Dante Alighieri's hells. Punishments wherein the guilty party will have to pay for his or her crimes for the rest of eternity. This is what happens at the level of Doll Number Four.

The thing to see here is that, while most folks can easily see what people do at the level of Dolls Number Three and Four as blame, most folks have trouble understanding why Doll Number Two explanations are not just stating the obvious facts. After all, isn't somebody responsible for all this suffering? And if we don't decide who then how can we prevent it from happening again?

To see why what we do at the level of Doll Number Two is blame, consider this. Consider what Ben Franklin once said about suffering. "For the want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for the want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for the want of a horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail." My point?

This saying more than any other I know of makes the very best case against that someone is to blame. And while ironically, ole Ben does indeed imply that the guilty party is whomever did not care enough to shoe his horse, the thing to see is that he inadvertently describes something in human nature which implies we do not do these things on purpose; that seemingly small and insignificant behaviors can and often do lead to our worst suffering.

Which exactly am I saying? That despite our beliefs that if we try hard enough, we can anticipate and prevent suffering, often, it happens anyway. And while I'm certainly not advocating for that we make none of these efforts, pointing fingers at people does not help. In fact, if carried to its logical conclusion, at best all finger pointing does is lead to more pointing fingers. Which then makes assigning responsibility for finding the remedy more like trying to resolve π than something we can actually do.

Finally, we have what Socrates said about blame and wrongdoing. Admittedly, most philosophers see these ideas as mere paradox. I, myself, believing as I do in what Emergence Personality Theory says about wrongdoing; that the wound is what you cannot see, am certain that Socrates meant this idea exactly as he said it.

What did Socrates say? He said that [1] no one does evil of his or her own free will, [2] that if one knew the good, one would not hesitate to do it, and [3] that one commits evil only from ignorance of what the good is. In other words, Socrates taught that wrongdoing is not something to blame on people but rather, that it is a natural consequence of our not being all knowing. Amazingly, this is very similar in nature to what Saint Augustine taught when he referred to our nature as being flawed by "original sin." And the Buddhists, when they say we suffer from unconsciousness.

Why do many people see these ideas as paradoxical then? Because philosophers, and most people in fact, assume that [1] people can do evil of their own free will, [2] that people can know the good and still do evil, and [3] that people do not commit evil out of ignorance but rather, with full knowledge that what they are doing is evil.

Do you feel these last statements more accurately describe human nature? If so, know you are a normal human being. As I've been telling you, these ideas are simply a part of our nature. As are our urges to blame people for this suffering. The thing is, if you contrast and compare these two sets of statements, you'll have a pretty good idea as to why we feel urges to blame. We believe suffering happens from preventable causes. Thus someone failed to prevent the suffering. And deserves to be at least punished with blame if not with a whole lot more.

Do you feel that these latter ideas accurately reflect the truth about human nature? If so, then consider how these beliefs affect your focus in talk therapy. Both as a client and as a therapist. Who to blame becomes the focus. And while I certainly think we should hold people accountable for their mistakes, I also think we must learn to recognize the part blame plays in our failed attempts to succeed in talk therapy.

At this point, I suspect I may have confused you even more. If so, I'm sorry. I warned you at the beginning though that blame is one complicated topic.

Perhaps too you're even feeling a bit angry at me for what I've been saying. Or at least, strongly disagreeing. If so, please do your best to set these feelings aside. Then remind yourself as to the context in which I've been saying all these things. I've been saying them in reference to doing talk therapy. I am, after all, more interested in healing than in punishing. Aren't you too?

So what about the good side of blame I mentioned? After all I've said, can this even be? Indeed, yes. And finally we're at that point. The good side of blame.

The Blame Fractal

Here we are finally at the point wherein I introduce to you this episode's drawing. What have I drawn this time? And what is it I was referring to when I told you I had a positive use for blame. What could possibly be positive about blaming someone?

Start with that what I'm referring to is commonly referred to by talk therapists as a "paradoxical intervention." Sounds alarming, doesn't it. Like something therapists do to screw with people's heads. And in a way, this is what it is, only it's done in the service of healing people. Hopefully, anyway.

How exactly does a paradoxical intervention work? Simple. You follow a client's blaming remarks with an even more exaggerated version of what they just said. Blame who they are blaming ever more than they are.

"And they should just find all those so and so's and then just . . . "

"You're right. And then they should light up a big bonfire and send 'em all to hell!"

Sounds horrible doesn't it. And it would be if you meant it. The thing is, if you do it right, the same thing happens as what I described above in Doll Number Four. The person laughs. And the blaming spell is broken. After which the person gets access to his or her real feelings. Which often turn out to be more about feeling hurt than anger.

Okay. A lot of therapists already have been taught this technique. I myself have known about it for more then twenty years. The thing is, until this week, I never understood why it works.

Why does it work? To show you, I've got to do my usual. I have to build a psychophysical bridge between the world of physics and the world of the mind. In other words, I need to explain what is happening by using a real world physical object and describing how the laws of physics affect it.

What is this week's physical world object? An audio speaker, to be exact. And what laws of physics will we be looking at. Nothing too terrible really. Just something which audio buffs call "the polarity of the speaker."

What the heck is the polarity of a speaker? Well to begin with, you know that speakers make sound by moving a paper cone in and out. And when the speaker pushes air out, enthusiasts call this positive polarity. And when the speaker pulls air in, they call this negative polarity. Not too difficult to understand really.

The thing is, blame works very similarly to this. In fact, as usual, the laws of the psychological world exactly mirror the laws of the physical world.

Thus, if we divide all blame into two big piles, we see that blame either falls into the out at someone else category or into the in at yourself category. So if the person who is blaming speaks these blaming words at someone, we could say she is blaming out. And if she speaks the blaming words back at herself, she is blaming in.

Here is yet another important thing to know about blame. Blame happens in only two directions. Relative to the speaker of the blame, that is. It either happens outward, or inward; at others, or at yourself. And this direction thing is a particularly good thing to keep in mind as you go through therapy. In other words, before you even discuss who and why you are blaming, look to see which direction you are blaming in. Out. Or in.

Audio installers must remember this very same thing. Why? Because if there are two speakers and each is moving air in the opposite direction, something audio buffs call, being out of phase, then the speakers actually start to cancel each other out.

What I'm saying is, in an audio system, all the speakers must move air out at the same time and in at the same time. Why? Because if you put two speakers right next to each other, and if you wire them out of phase as in one pushes air out when the other pushes air in, the louder you turn up the volume, the lower the sound will go! Why? Because the two speakers simply cancel out each other.

This then is what I've drawn in my diagram. On the left, you'll find a speaker with it's paper cone all the way in. This is the blaming in at yourself speaker. Then on the right you'll find a speaker with it's cone all the way out. And this is the blaming other people speaker. And in the middle, you'll find a speaker which is right in the middle but with forces being applied in both directions at the same time. Which is why this speaker is not moving. Nor making any sound. Why not? Because someone is blaming in and the other is blaming out.

How do you do this in a talk therapy though? Easy. You, with great focus and kindness, keep exaggerating what the blaming person is saying until nature takes over. At which point, what you're saying is so exaggerated that it ceases to be real and becomes paradoxical. Which then cancels out the suffering present and makes the two of you laugh.

Some would now wonder how this all happens, and at the risk of sounding like I'm avoiding the question, I will only say this. The nature of our world, both inside and out, is that nature abhors an imbalance. Moreover, these imbalances can either be a vacuum as the saying is usually stated or a wicked excess which is equally true.

Too much blame nets laughter. What an amazing idea to know.

This Episode's Session Notes

Was this episode too complicated for you? Know it feels that way for me too. This is after all what made me state what I did at the beginning; that blame is an incredibly complex and difficult topic to discuss. In reality, this is probably even an understatement. This said, in this episode, I think we've done a pretty good job of addressing this complexity, in essence, by listing some of the basic qualities of blame. Before closing then, let's review a few of these basic qualities.

  • Blame comes in three varieties. Thus if we use the Onion of Personality as our working metaphor, we have Excusing Blame (the 2nd Layer of the Onion), Time Limited Blame (the 3rd Layer of the Onion), and Punishing Blame (the 4th Layer of the Onion).
  • We can also use the Ten Russian Nesting Dolls as our metaphor for personality, in which case we can call these three kinds of blame, Punishing Questions, Explanations, and Excuses for Not Punishing (Doll 2), Time-Limited Punishments (Doll 3), and Eternal Punishments (Doll 4).
  • If we do not get hurt, we do not blame. In other words, we blame only when we feel pain of some sort or another. No pain. No blame. Albeit, this pain may be felt at a very subtle level.
  • The basic quality present in all things blaming is that we attribute the cause of some suffering to some person, place, thing, or circumstances.
  • We do this because there is a belief built into the human mind; the idea that suffering is optional and so, results from something we mistakenly or wrongly do.
  • According to many of the greatest spiritual people, this belief is not true. Rather, we blame because we are unable to believe, or accept, that suffering happens as a natural consequence of our not being all knowing.
  • Blame happens in only two directions. Relative to the speaker of the blame, it happens either outward, toward others, or inward, at ourselves. This means, if we do not focus on finding the psychological cause of our suffering, we do not blame. No focus on psychological cause. No blame.
  • If we do achieve this, then we are left with the idea that we must face our suffering more as part of who we are rather than as wrong doings or mistakes. Moreover, one of the best ways to break away from the spell blame puts us under is to exaggerate how much blame we feel.
  • If done correctly, this ends in laughter. And in relief. At which point we get access to the Dolls inside of our blaming selves. The parts of us which simply suffer and do not care why. The parts of us who only want the heal and be free.

Granted, these ideas could easily lead to a whole book in and of themselves and even then struggle to be done. This said, no book on talk therapy can avoid talking about blame. Just as no talk therapy can avoid talking about it either. Thus, better we say beginnings than say nothing because we can't say it all.

In a sense then, this is the same thing I've been saying about blaming. Better we address the little we can than that we learn to pretend these urges don't exist. Or indulge them and justify their existence.

Finally, if you look yet again at the Nesting Dolls and at the position blame exists at within human nature, you see that blame exists only in the Outer Layers of personality. Layers 2, 3, and 4 to be exact. This leaves us with six more layers to explore, each a deeper and more open version of us all as human beings. Our true selves. Our core personalities.

The thing is, if we cannot see past blame, we cannot see these core selves. Can you see where this is going? Blame is the swamp, forest, and mountain we need to travel in order to reach our true reasons for being born. To learn to love each other. And if we do learn? Well, that's another whole book. Or at least, another whole episode.

Until the next episode then.

I hope you are well,

Steven