Monday, October 5, 2009

What if it wasn't your fault?

I lived in a world of fault. It was my fault for everything, down to natural disasters. It was my fault for family dysfunction and illness. I was somehow responsible for everything. I was the one who deserved punishment. Now, this is natural in some stages of development, when the world seems to revolve around the child, but somehow I maintained this weight of responsibility. It was like I was frozen around age six when I blamed myself for everything. When it looked like it could have been some one else’s fault, it just meant that I had to look a little deeper to find that I was the culprit. More recent traumas have occurred, and I blamed myself for them. I still do.

My mind floods with “what-ifs”. What if somehow I caused the lightning to strike my house? What if I set myself up for the tremendous bullying? What if I set out, choosing to develop the illnesses of adolescence and early adulthood? What if I had caught the medication blunder? What if I had exercised more will power? What if it really truly was my choice and my fault and I am truly solely responsible? Of course, I am responsible on many levels. I am not denying that. I am just questioning the extreme self blame that I have lived under.
The question was posed to me tonight, “what if all of this wasn’t your fault?” What if? What if it had nothing to do with my choice and my failures? What if it was just the result of the fallen world, and the failures and sins of others? What if I have been placing the blame on the wrong shoulders and crumbling underneath the undeserved weight? What would be the implications of this exoneration?
Now, I am not willing to admit that this is entirely the case. I am willing to accept that in some cases, I was the victim. I was the victim to events that should have never transpired and medical malpractice that should have been prevented or even caught before such traumas occurred. But the message of tonight is simply the question, “what if it wasn’t your fault?”
It seems wrong to ask it. It seems like I would be shirking responsibility, not accepting culpability of actions that I may have chosen. It is the reverse of the question that has been haunting me for years: What if it was your entire fault?
I answered this question with “yes,” because this is what the lies were screaming. I accepted the blame and shame, and now I see the destruction that it produces. I set out to punish myself, to pay a form of penance. I did not need to forgive anyone else. No one else was to blame, and I never could forgive myself for all of those horrible things. The list was just too long and heavy.
I don’t yet know how to answer the question, “what if it wasn’t your fault?” This could mean that I have a lot of people to forgive. It also may make it easier to forgive myself.
I have so long blamed myself that it seems foreign and bizarre to think that it could be anything other than my fault. I know, however, that the shame attached with who I am as a person is inappropriate. I also know that there is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ. That truth has not quite hit my heart yet, but I trust that it will as I seek to recognize the truth of His word and to know Him more completely.
It seems that my posts have come to develop more into questions than answers. I like answers. I like to understand and be able to make sense out of things. I trust, however, that in time, this will make more sense in a heart knowledge kind of way. In the mean time, I will keep asking and seeking. It could be that it is not so much about the answers but about the One to whom the questions are directed.

No comments:

Post a Comment