End the BASHing – Blame, Anger, Shame, Helplessness – in your Most Important Relationships

End the BASHing – Blame, Anger, Shame, Helplessness – in your Most Important Relationships

A client of mine came up with an acronym last week that was so very helpful to her in catching the anger-shame-blame behaviors she could easily get into, about herself, about people close to her. BASH – Blame, Anger (or Anxiety), Shame, Helplessness.  The perfect descriptor of a very serious bad habit.

This same client has often found Tara Brach’s guided meditation R.A.I.N. on Blame (see below) reliably helpful in reversing and soothing the pain of that pattern.

Tara Brach is one of the most beloved, trusted, and gifted mindfulness teachers in the world.  Through this special program from NICABM, she’ll be walking you through the mindfulness practices and sharing trainings that can help eliminate shame, counter-act self-criticism, ease self-judgement, and strengthen relationships with the people you love.

This will be an exceptional program. Registration closes at midnight tonight, so please do check it out now if you wish.

R.A.I.N on Blame is an elegant and effective meditation by Tara Brach to come to terms with one’s own part in any rupture and offer one’s self the compassion that can re-open the heart to courageous action.

You can listen to Tara leading you in R.A.I.N on Blame, and practice it here as well:

1.  Come into a sense of presence; let your senses be awake. Let go of any tension or tightness in your body. Open to sensations of aliveness inside of you.

2.  Identify someone you care about but with whom you feel distance, conflict, tension.

3.  Recall one particular incident that went awry with this person. Evoke the visual memory, the words expressed, the tone of voice expressing them.

4.  Shift your attention to your own inner experience.


Recognize what is happening inside of you as you recall this incident. (Anger, blame, judgment)


Allow your feelings to be there. They are human, part of normal human experience. Let them be rather than ignoring or trying to fix.   Let your attention deepen.


Spend some time noticing and inquiring into thoughts that bubble up around these feelings.  “They don’t respect me…. They don’t care….  I’m not safe.”

Identify what’s the worst part of this experience: disturbing, hurtful. What longing didn’t get to happen?

Identify the felt sense in the body of this experience.  The felt sense is the essence of this experience.  Express this felt sense in posture and facial expressions.


Focus on the most difficult part of this entire experience.  Identify: what is the unmet need? To feel cared about, respected, important, understood, appreciated, safe?

Call on your wiser, loving self, your witnessing self. (Notice the change in posture and facial expressions as you shift.)

Let your wiser self offer to your inner vulnerable self exactly what is nourishing, comforting, soothing to that part of you.  (Placing your hand on your heart to evoke the felt sense of loving presence and comfort.)

Bring to mind someone who knows you and loves you.  (This step is very similar to the Compassionate Friend exercise in the Mindful Self-Compassion protocol.) Receive the understanding, protection, and care of this compassionate friend.

5.  Notice any shifts within yourself from doing this R.A.I.N. practice.  Notice any deeper sense of presence, any more spaciousness of heart.

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