Whose fault is it?

Whose fault is it?I think about this question a lot.

My boys and I talk about this question a lot.

My husband and I discuss this question a lot.

Whose fault is when the iPhone is dropped and the screen cracks?  Mine, because I set it on the edge of the table or yours, because you bumped the table while it was setting on the edge?

Whose fault is it when the dog eats my lunch off the counter while I run to the restroom?

Whose fault is it when, out of sheer joy, my son runs to put the beautiful tile painting he made us for Christmas on the mantle, trips over his brothers feet and it shatters into pieces on the floor?

Whose fault is it?  

It has to be someone’s fault.  Right?

I feel better when I can blame someone.  Even if it’s my fault.  It just feels better to know whose fault it is.

Brené Brown explains it this way,

 “Blame is simply the discharging of discomfort and pain.  It has an inverse relationship with accountability.  Accountability, by definition, is vulnerability. Blaming is corrosive in relationships. It’s simply a way we discharge anger.  We spend our energy figuring out whose fault it is.  It’s one of the reasons we miss opportunities for empathy, because when something happens instead of listening to the story, we’re quickly making connections in our mind to figure out whose fault it was. It gives us a sense of control. “

The truth is, broken things can only be mended when we let go of blame.  When we realize it doesn’t really matter who is to blame. When we decide it’s our responsibility to help fix them, that it’s up to us to make it right.

It’s like my son’s tile painting.  He wanted to blame.  He wanted to know whose fault it was, but the only thing that could possibly ease his hurt was to start looking for the pieces.

So we did.

We took a break from the gift opening to find them.  Every single one.  I took them to the table and we worked it like a puzzle, until it was apparent that it could be put back together.  That was the only thing that would soothe his aching heart.  Even though we couldn’t make it new, it would still be beautiful and whole.  We think it’s even more beautiful and unique as mosaic art, than anything he could have planned.  It sits on our mantle as a reminder of taking ownership for what we do next, no matter whose fault it was.

Oakley's tile painting

Figuring out whose fault it is a waste of our time and energy (with obvious exceptions around protecting others), but it gives us that sense of power.  So we do it.  We spend time figuring out who to blame.

Often, we spend so much time placing blame that we never get around to addressing the hurt.  

We hold our ground about fault and never heal our relationships.  We think it’s someone else’s responsibility to fix it, so we let ourselves off the hook.

There is so much wrong in the world, even in our own lives and our relationships.  There is so much hurt, so much anger and so much pain.  It’s hard to look at it.  It’s hard to face it sometimes.

It’s easier to let it be someone else’s problem than to jump in and do something about it.  

Especially when it’s those people, out there.  That’s why I am on a mission to support the women who’ve drawn a line in the sand.  The social entrepreneurs who’ve said, I know it’s not my fault.  I don’t need to know who is to blame.  I can do something about this.  I can ease the hurt and the pain.  I can bring hope, healing and dignity.  I can create more love.   Supporting these women is my battle cry.

Supporting you is my battle cry.  It doesn’t matter what brought you here today. I take responsibility for what happens while you’re here.  If I can encourage you, lead you down a road to healing, or help you create more love in this world, I’m stepping up.  I’m going to do it.

What about you?

Where is the pain in your life that you’re discharging through blame?

Would you let go of the blame this weekend?  I’m certainly not saying pretend it doesn’t hurt.  You can start by addressing the pain in you.  Call it out.  But please don’t stop there.  Think of one thing you can do to make the situation better.

Start looking for the broken pieces.  Maybe just gather them up. You can start working the puzzle next.

What do you say?

To more love,



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