Have you ever walked full force into a glass door that you just didn’t see was there? This is a bit how I feel after reading in If Only this morning. I smacked right into a message I didn’t see coming. It was all about guilt and shame and the older brother’s reaction to his father’s welcome home party for his prodigal son. She makes a statement in the prayer that felt like the door – “I also recognize that some of the shame I’ve carried has caused me to carry responsibility for things or people never, ever intended for me.”
The word shame and responsibility stuck out. Do I feel shame over decisions other people made? Yep. Do I somehow feel partly, or even all the way responsible for their decisions? Um…yep. It’s not even just my children I carry responsibility for – my parents, teachers, people who haven’t treated me kindly. I feel shame (“I am bad”) because someone treated me poorly and I take responsibility for their actions because I most likely deserved it. In the light of some clear headed thinking right now, I can see how I need to let that feeling of responsibility go and stop carrying around the shame other people’s actions tricked me into taking on!