This article on CNN Health - http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/08/17/bitter.resentful.ep/index.html?&hpt=hp_c2-by Elizabeth Cohen, is very interesting, regarding the negative health effects of blame and resentment.
"Feeling bitter interferes with the body's hormonal and immune systems, according to Carsten Wrosch, an associate professor of psychology at Concordia University in Montreal...."
"The data that negative mental states cause heart problems is just stupendous. The data is just as established as smoking, and the size of the effect is the same."
--Dr. Charles Raison
Blame ignites the body's fight or flight stress mechanism. If we actually fight, then the stress hormones will dissipate, but "When our bodies are constantly primed to fight someone, the increase in blood pressure and in chemicals such as C-reactive protein eventually take a toll on the heart and other parts of the body" states Raison.
It is now well known that 90% of illness has its source in stress - and blame, resentment and bitterness certainly cause much stress.
Our ego wounded self is the part of us that wants to control everything, and blaming others for our feelings is a very common way of trying to control. However, like anything we do that avoids taking responsibility for ourselves, the consequences can be disastrous for our wellbeing.
Moving Beyond Blame
The first thing you need to ask yourself is, "Do I WANT to move beyond blame? Am I ready to let go of seeing myself as a victim of others' choices and learn how to take responsibility for my own feelings and needs?"
The answer to this question might not be at all obvious to you. One part of you might be saying, "Of course I want to let go of blame. Why would I want to keep blaming? Why would I want to be a victim?" However, another less conscious part of you might be deeply invested in the belief that others and circumstances cause your feelings. You might not want to know that you are the captain of your own ship, and that you are the one keeping yourself stuck - feeling angry, resentful, victimized, anxious or depressed.
So, the question is, "Do I WANT to learn how to take responsibility for myself - both for causing my own pain, and for managing the pain caused by others and circumstances - or do I want to stay stuck in blame and resentment?"
Think about this carefully, as it is very easy to fool yourself. Since the identity of our programmed mind - our ego wounded self - is based on trying to have control over getting love and avoiding pain, to feel safe, it is not easy to want to give up this control.
If you decide that you really want to let go of trying to control through blaming others - or blaming yourself - then following the Six Steps of Inner Bonding will train you in taking responsibility for yourself.
Start with tuning in to the anger and resentment that gets expressed as blame. Breathe into these feelings and embrace them, as a loving parent would embrace an upset child.
Now go a little deeper. Tune in to the difficult feelings of helplessness, loneliness and heartache that might be underneath the anger and resentment. Breathe into these feelings with kindness and caring toward yourself. These are hard feelings to feel. It takes courage to feel them, so congratulate yourself if you have the courage.
See if you can accept that you cannot have control over getting the person you are angry with to change. Paradoxically, accepting your powerlessness over others is what opens the door to personal power - to taking loving care of yourself.
Once you can find a place of acceptance of your lack of control over others, open to learning with your higher self. Ask, with a solid intent to learn about loving yourself, "What do I need to do right now to create an inner sense of peace?" Stay open to ideas popping into your mind.
Then take the action that seems most loving to you. Perhaps it would be a prayer for the person you are angry at. Perhaps you need a good cry and/or a walk in nature. Perhaps you need to reach out for help from a friend or therapist. The loving action is the action that brings a sense of peace and fullness inside.
If you try this each time you find yourself angry, blaming and resentful, you will move out of the stress of blame and into the peace of taking personal responsibility for your emotional wellbeing.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner BondingŽ process - featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!