“…the problem of distinguishing what we are and what we are not responsible for in this life is one of the greatest problems of human existence. It is never completely solved; for the entirety of our lives we must continually assess and reassess where our responsibilities lie in the ever-changing course of events.” (Peck 36)
We frequently burden ourselves by claiming responsibility for events beyond our control, creating feelings of anxiety, guilt, and shame. Although we can often recognize that some situations aren’t completely our fault, we will find some facet of the event to claim as a result of our actions. This unnecessary accountability can make us paranoid, and unwilling to try new things.
These feelings are very common after an unsuccessful cycle. Patients will continually ask what they did or did not do, or how to not repeat the same mistakes again. Unfortunately, there is only so much we can do and at some point biology must take over. We are not responsible for every event, and outcome. The sooner we can come to terms with this and relieve the feelings of anxiety and guilt, the better. Yoga, meditation, and faith/spirituality are great ways to work through these feelings of universal responsibility.
I am holding a workshop on Honoring Loss and Change in Syracuse this Saturday, February 27th. We will be discussing how to relieve these feelings and many more topics. You can find more information here: http://www.cnyhealingarts.com/discussion/calendar.php?do=getinfo&e=171&day=2010-2-27&c=1
Also, the quote used in this article is from our book of the month to be discussed at our Circle of Hope support groups, and Dr. Rob’s Monthly Support Webinar in March.
Peck, M. Scott. The Road Less Traveled, 25th Anniversary Edition A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth. New York: Touchstone, 2003.
I hope to see you at some of our great support offerings this month!