Posts tagged ‘shame’

Responsible? Yes and proud of it!

There’s an old joke that goes, “Yes, I’ve always been the most responsible person in my family. If anything went wrong, I was responsible.” It’s a joke founded on the widespread practice of scapegoating. Every dysfunctional family will have at least one individual (sometimes two) who gets the blame for almost everything. It doesn’t matter what it is, or if it’s clearly illogical to think the person was related to the situation. That person still gets blamed and punished.

Many of us avoid the concept of “responsible” because we associate it with “fault” and “blame.” We try many different ways to avoid taking responsibility for our own actions, words, thoughts and feelings:
“It’s the way I was raised.” “I didn’t do anything wrong — they did!” “I was just following orders.” “He won’t give me a chance.” “She’s prejudiced against me.” “He pushes my buttons.” and so on, and so on….

What we fail to realize is that by avoiding responsibility we also strip ourselves of our personal power. Am I truly at the mercy of the way I was raised? That’s a very helpless (and hopeless!) feeling. Likewise, if someone pushes my buttons and I believe I must react a certain way, that person has incredible power over me. I’m not doing myself any favors this way!

“Fault” and “blame” are words associated with shame. The very word “fault” means a defect — and when we apply it to ourselves, we usually feel defective. “Blame” is full of anger, possibly rage, and guilt. The good thing is that we can dissociate those 2 words from the concept of “responsible.” It is possible, thought not easy, to be completely aware of one’s own responsibility in life without feeling shame.

Here’s the key, and it’s very simple. Doing something “bad” does not equal being something bad.

Again, doing something bad does NOT equal being something bad. We all make mistakes, whether accidentally or on purpose. We make our choices and sometimes we hurt other people or ourselves. We decide what to do with the things we hear and see and feel; we decide how to interpret them. Sometimes we decide wrong. BUT — this does not make us


or in any way worse or less valuable as people than others.

I am indeed responsible for all that I think, feel, say, and do. And I’m proud of it!

August 29, 2008 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

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