How often have you despaired at the accusation that everything is your fault? How often have you asked yourself, “What is wrong with me?” Has it become a kind of negative theme song in your head?
Does it make you feel peaceful? I doubt it. Tension? Hell, yes!
What is wrong with me?
I learned a very profound lesson recently. I have been trusting God to help me figure out what is in my life that steals from my health. One of my friends said she saw this picture of me holding a bucket and whenever I was in a negative environment, such as an argument or a tense meeting with someone, I would walk away with all of that dark tension in my bucket. I could definitely relate to that. I always felt awful for a while after such incidents, even if I’d had no part or fault in the matter. I couldn’t seem to stop this happening, either, even though I tried.
Another friend prayed with me about this, and she asked me whether I ever struggled with the accusing thought that everything is my fault, and/or that something is wrong with me. I said yes, it’s something that comes up from time to time and I work hard to fight it off. My earliest memory of this thought pattern is being alone in my first year of school. I had no friends through most of my school days and the adults in my environment often made me feel that somehow it must be my fault that I was so lonely. (Of course, this was not the only factor, but the first one.) My friend then unlocked the whole problem with this key. She said:
Maybe, because that is a core belief for you, you take on all the negative stuff because that is where you feel it belongs – inside you, so you just “suck it up”.
Everything is not my fault
I burst into tears. Subconsciously, that is exactly what I had been doing and now I finally understood. Better still, I could finally let it go. I am not perfect and yes, I do make mistakes from time to time, but the liberating TRUTH is there is nothing so wrong with me that I somehow should “suck up” into myself everything else that is wrong to somehow then make it all better.
Other people’s tension does not belong in the pit of my stomach or in my heart, sucking my health out of me. This does not mean I throw off all responsibility and compassion, but it means there is a limit now where I couldn’t quite keep one before. I share this in the hope that it might help someone else. I wish I could hug some of you, look you in the eyes and tell you this:
You are an amazing human being. Unique. Everything is not your fault. You may have issues yes, like we all do. But this doesn’t mean there’s something “wrong” with you in the sense that it makes you a write-off, hopelessly damaged, or unlovable, or worthless. There is nothing so wrong with you that you should carry everyone else’s anxiousness, conflict and tension in yourself. You don’t need to suck it all up to feel better, because you won’t.
You have a purpose and there is meaning in your life, if you can look past the persuasive lies and accusations long enough to take hold of enough hope and courage to stand up for your own life. You don’t have to be a black hole, absorbing all the bad. You can be a fountain, bursting with living water instead. You CAN.