Glen, I recently heard someone say, “I have only one person’s guilt to carry: my own. If my spouse blames me for his/her difficulties, I will not accept that blame, but I need to take responsibility for my own weaknesses.” What are your thoughts on this circumstance? (An inquiry from a reader of my blog and book.)
Response: Another great question, T.! Thank you. Humbly and respectfully it is true, other than our children (up to a certain age), we can only take ‘true responsibility’ for our own health and well-being. We can endeavor to (at best) selflessly be good role models, but we (unless we are criminals) are not responsible for what happens to others. That said, we CAN healthfully embrace a genuinely loving and altruistic sense of ‘true empathy’ for others, while healthfully avoiding overt co-dependence (once again, congruent with taking true responsibility for our own health and well-being).
It is said in the health/wellness arts that I teach, coach, and endeavor to follow, that among the most difficult issues in our lives is the dynamic of forgiveness…a lack of forgiveness of ourselves and others. As a splendid healing mechanism for this common ‘thorn’ in our sides, we can learn to better and better embrace the following notions: There is a love beyond, yet inclusive of, familial, friendship, and romantic love. It is a selfless love, through which we can learn to embrace our comfort and discomfort equally – in a bright beautiful resplendent spirit of ‘true appreciation.’ It is a love which allows for ‘true honesty,’ promoting of ‘true happiness’ and ‘true Freedom’…but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind. It is the right thing for the right sake – without the need for selfish recognition or hidden agendas. It is realization that we are much more in the same common boat than we often think and act. It is displaying dignity, decency, goodness, and grace…AND figuring out how to truly mean it, no matter what. IF we truly make the effort, it might even be a ‘glimpse of Heaven.’ — Dr. Glen Hepker
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