This last week I read and re-read the book, "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay. She talks about many of us (herself included) that have suffered abuse, but even though we are able to leave the pain behind, the belief systems surrounding that abuse we seem to carry into adulthood.
She talks about how those belief systems serve us, but they also hinder us. For the past 10 years or so, I have lived by most of what she says in her book, but I obviously still carry some of those belief systems with me still.
She talks about how this is a process, not a one time step and she used to be angry at herself when faced with belief systems that were harming her, and now she just looks at it and says to herself, 'I love you the way you are and this thing still needs to be adjusted."
I'm a caretaker and as such, I tend to want to fix things and especially fix people. I run a support group for people in transition. I have learned a very important lesson over the years; I have learned that each and every one of us are responsible for our own behaviors, thoughts and emotions.
Even when people's behavior, thoughts and emotions are harmful to them, it still isn't my job to fix them. The more I live by this, the more I am able to allow others to make their own mistakes, even when they are harmful to themselves.
When we allow others to be responsible for their own actions, this also leaves no room for victim blaming, a victim doesn't cause abuse to happen to them because the person who does the damage is solely responsible for their own actions.
It is also easier to let go of telling others how to live their lives because they are responsible for how they live their lives, even if their choices bring them harm.
We have a right to set boundaries when other people's behavior treads on us and causes us harm, however, so let's not confuse setting boundaries, which is good with allowing others to lead their lives.
I am still needing a reminder, but this has helped me live a better life.