Why Shame & Blame are Deal Breakers

SHAME & BLAME are common, online and off. In work environments and at home. In too many places, in too many ways, they are the name of the game. This ensures everyone loses out. Nothing can grow when shame and blame fill the air. Together they choke the life out of every good idea. Every new venture. And every budding relationship. Shame and blame simply cannot co-exist with good-will, grace, risk, faith, and love. They are their antitheses, bent on their destruction. It’s the weeds vs. the flowers. The darkness vs. the light.

For this reason, shame and blame are deal-breakers when it comes to doing business together, ministering as an effective team, or working closely with anyone who tends to react with looks, words and comments weighed down with shame and blame.

Shame and blame make us double-guess the double-speak, cloud and confuse our thinking. This robs us of precious energy. Upends creativity.

When this is the case, relationships, personal or professional, suffer. After all, it’s hard to believe someone will follow through when shame and blame are part of their emotional vocabulary; shame and blame, by definition, negate the value of personal responsibility; so, why would they follow through on their responsibilities?

In this atmosphere, of simply trying to read the signs and survive, trust doesn’t stand a chance. Therefore what venture, what risk, what deep conversation can succeed? A. none. Shame and blame hold people back and so, are deal-breakers. Rightfully so.

The opposite scenario, of course, is when good things happen in an atmosphere where everyone is free to voice their thoughts, share ideas, suggest improvements, etc., without fear of being ridiculed or shut-down or thrown under the bus if/when things backfire or conflict comes up. This means everyone involved needs to be free of (or at least aware of and dealing with) shame and blame. Everyone involved needs to own their stuff and be willing to show up in an honest way. THIS IS WHAT IT TAKES for good things to grow between us; whether at work, in service, or at home.

People who work well together have each other’s back. They can be trusted. Mistakes are welcome, because it means someone is trying, pushing the limits, willing to risk. My brother, who loves to water-ski, says, “If you’re not falling, you’re not trying hard enough.” Love that! But that’s hard to pull off when shame and blame are lurking close-by, on the look-out for the first sign of weakness, failure or foolishness.

Probably, no one is immune to the effect of feeling the sting of shame or the false burden of blame, although some people are clearly more free of it than others; more at home with who they are and how they function, and therefore, more likely to applaud the same in others.

The ideal is that everyone would do the math: shame and blame are negatives. Praise and affirmation, acceptance and backing each other up are positives. If we want to come out on top, the choice is easy, although I’m the first to admit the emotional and spiritual work behind it is hard.

So, it’s important to find people you can be yourself with. Who value your voice and input, your ideas and inspirations. Who know that it takes guts to put yourself ‘out there’ – to share who you are and who allow you to function, fully, as you are made to do. This is key to working, living, and serving together.

Don’t let shame and blame take the place of better possibilities between you (or within you!). Instead, defend, promote, and affirm the best you see in yourself, and in others. It’s a much firmer, stronger foundation to build on.

The other stuff; the pettiness and passed-on pain that is shame and blame is a deal-breaker. Let it be so. The clearer we can be on this stuff, the better.

Thanks for reading!

FOR MORE ON WHO YOU ARE AND HOW YOU FUNCTION, check out my NEW BOOK “5 Navigators, aligning with your God-given spiritual gift.” Available on Amazon or through my Bookstall page – www.daynamazzuca.com

FYI – THIS POST FIRST APPEARED AS AN ARTICLE ON MY LINKEDIN PROFILE.

Sadly,

close up shot of shards of a broken ceramic plate on a wooden surface

CONTEMPT does untold damage to otherwise great relationships, cutting off their future potential, sharpening all the edges, making people feel ill at ease, less than themselves and simply NOT who they are meant to be.

Holding contempt is at odds with extending grace.

Relationships require compassion, respect, and sometimes, more than a little mending. But as long as contempt is part of the picture, there is little hope of either party being able to fix things on their own.

May this find you in a place of willingness to pick up the pieces and take a closer look at what might be the true source of the pain, the problem, the misunderstanding…

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Focus, Focus

arrow feather stock selective focus

Is the pressure we feel a distraction

from what the Lord would have us see?

Are we afraid to say what we’re afraid of—

tired of people making fun

of what is not fun—

needing the root to loosen, break free?

Do we long to stomp on pure and holy ground,

let the arrows fly—claim back the lost

that means so much and, no matter what has come

                           to pass, will always mean

                           so much?

Sometimes we can feel so much has been lost, even taken from us; somehow slipped from our hands when we cared so much and didn’t want to see it go. And we can give up. Despair. Settle for less. But this is not the warrior’s cry. The warrior says, “No. I will fight, on my knees. I will declare what is mine and what I have been given. I will not surrender the fight for what is lost, but might yet be gained.”

For more on the dynamics of the spiritual life, visit my BOOKSTALL.

Waves

a tugboat sailing on sea

The scent of white lilacs

on the lip of a tugboat still on the waves

catches me off-guard, reduces

the lines between

now and                          then

                           when love was too thinly

              defined, and I never knew

how the romance of wild things hung

on standing still.

There are memories that come back to us when we travel between Point A and Point B and we realize life compounds, works together, takes us forward on our own steam, and the steam of itself. We are travelers making choices, but also passengers learning lessons, people pausing to breathe in the air; the scented air that resolves the things we fear by reminding us of all we hold dear; whispering – love is always near.

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What Can Be Shaken

starry night sky over starry night

Ideologies scatter

like pixie dust in the face of a cold North wind—

as faith grows bold, moves into a house cleansed,

reduced through sorrow that came to visit,

but could not

did not stay forever

given the power of God

and his eternal, loving nature.

There’s so much shaking going on these days. Yikes. It’s hard to know how to respond, but respond we must, even in the quiet of our own homes. As we bow down, and choose to let the Lord lead, there’s this sense that things are happening that we can’t possibly explain and why would we try, in the moment, when the greater need is probably to be still. To take stock. To hold firm. And to release the failed ideologies that have proved less than solid; to build our lives instead on the Rock; the One that cannot be shaken.

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