When I look back at my childhood it’s not difficult to see why I was angry. Through having no choices, I played no part in my own decisions, but still went on to live with the guilt for many years.
No one should be allowed to feel they are to blame for someone else decisions. Even if that person fails to apologise for the decisions they made for you that you’ve had to deal with over the years, I still believe we can rid ourselves of those guilty feelings. I know because I’ve done it.
The art of self-compassion isn’t easy. Where we can extend compassion to ourselves in times where we feel we’ve failed, we feel inadequate or we’re generally suffering as a consequence of our past, we will have self-compassion. Without it, it would be easy to continue to apportion blame on ourselves for our past experiences.
So how does self-compassion work?
Being kinder to us, being mindful and responsive to some of our thoughts on our experiences without beating ourselves up, every time those thoughts come into our mind. Unfortunately, when we’ve been manipulated by others, we will always blame ourselves. If we’re genuinely not to blame, the blame needs to be redirected on to the other person.
The onus should clearly be off us. Own what’s yours and relinquish blame for everything else. If we are to blame, we need to understand. Whether mistakes lie with us or with someone else, it’s important we lose the baggage and this is where self-compassion comes in.