It’s Not Your Fault!
March 14, 2015 § 2 Comments
Just as a home is built with the materials on hand, so is the ego built from the materials of childhood, with a cornerstone being one’s sense of value or self-worth. A key contributing factor to this value is whether an individual was raised in a happy or unhappy family.
It is consistent with the development of the ego that a young child adopt an egocentric position and see him or her self as the cause of what’s happening in the family. If the family was happy, then the child would assume the credit and grow up with a positive self-worth. If the family was not happy, then the child may take on the blame for this situation and grow up with feelings of guilt and low self-esteem.
It does not help that unhappy people often seek to blame others for their state of unhappiness. Even with the best of intentions, parents may unconsciously raise a child to accept the blame for their unhappiness. How much more so might it be if the parents were suffering from addictions, neuroses or were, themselves, raised to accept the blame for their parents’ unhappiness! Whatever the additional circumstances, if a child thought a parent’s unhappiness was his or her fault, then that child may grow up to believe that he or she is a bad person.
It needs saying that neither you nor whoever raised you is to blame for your level of self-esteem. To play the blame game would only continue an unnecessary cycle of suffering. The aim here is to enable you to consciously recognize that your self-worth is determined solely by you and can therefore be changed by you!
Many people go through life with a vague feeling that they have done something wrong but cannot figure out what that was. This may contribute to chronic depression over feelings of worthlessness, or anxiety lest someone expose their secret sin. It seldom occurs to them that these feelings are the result of their compassion for another’s suffering having led them to falsely assume the blame for that suffering!
If you are one who has always felt that something was wrong but weren’t sure what that was, then take that feeling into your meditation. See if it doesn’t arise from an unconscious acceptance of blame for your family’s unhappiness. Then see that if someone was not happy that it was not your fault and that you are not responsible for anyone’s happiness but your own.
Over the course of time your bad feelings and catastrophic expectations of being “found out” will fall away. And you will find greater peace of mind from the simple recognition that the fault was never yours.