Today’s thought for Hazelden is:
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. We do not have to allow their destructive beliefs to control our feelings, our behaviors, our life, or us.
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.
You are reading from the book:
The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie
The Language of Letting Go. Copyright 1990 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of of Hazelden.