Responsibility for Family Members: August 22
I can still remember my mother clutching her heart, threatening to have a heart attack and die, and blaming it on me.
For some of us, the idea that we were responsible for other people’s feelings had its roots in childhood and was established by members of our nuclear family. We may have been told that we made our mother or father miserable, leading directly to the idea that we were also responsible for making them happy. The idea that we are responsible for our parents’ happiness or misery can instill exaggerated feelings of power and guilt in us.
We do not have this kind of power over our parents—over their feelings, or over the course of their lives. We do not have to allow them to have this kind of power over us.
Our parents did the best they could. But we still do not have to accept one belief from them that is not a healthy belief. They may be our parents, but they are not always right. They may be our parents, but their beliefs and behaviors are not always healthy and in our best interest.
We are free to examine and choose our beliefs.
Let go of guilt. Let go of excessive and inappropriate feelings of responsibility toward parents and other family members. We do not have to allow their destructive beliefs to control us, our feelings, our behaviors, or our life.
Today, I will begin the process of setting myself free from any self-defeating beliefs my parents passed on to me. I will strive for appropriate ideas and boundaries concerning how much power and how much responsibility I can actually have in my relationship with my parents.
Quoted from the book Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie.
This is true of any family member. Parents are the ones we look to for guidance and help but they too may have been misguided as children and pass on to us misguided and unhealthy beliefs and behaviours.
We as parents or spouses or siblings working diligently to recover our own health and well being may need to also let go of others. We may pass down some good things we may pass down some bad. As parents one of the most positive things we can do is work the 12 steps. Admitting where we are wrong and making amends teaches our children that they can do the same.
Sometimes we take those steps and it goes unacknowledged or unaccepted. That becomes their issue. If we are truly sorry, humble and sincere and rectify what we can we have done our part. Likewise if some one comes to us we can move forward.