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Clearly, It's Not Your Fault

Did you know ... many people suffer from what is sometimes called toxic or chronic guilt, which is closely related to a false and overwhelming sense of responsibility. This stems from their childhood environment and is carried into adulthood and their adult relationships, be they romantic, work, themselves and others. False responsibility refers to an attitude when you feel responsible for things that, objectively, are fundamentally not your responsibility.

For example, as children and adolescents, people feel responsible for the needs and emotions of their parents, siblings, and other family members.

Usually, this sense of responsibility comes from being overtly or covertly blamed, disciplined or punished for something that's not your concern.

Parents and other authority figures often blame children for things that they themselves are fundamentally responsible for. 

I spent a moment considering the previous statement and the concept of blame. That's when it occurred to me to highlight the original meaning of the word 'blame'.

as a verb: c. 1200, find fault with ... c. 1300, lay responsibility on for something deemed wrong, from Old French blasmer (12c., Modern French blâmer) to rebuke, reprimand, condemn, criticize

as a noun: an act or expression of disapproval, rebuke, etc., for something deemed wrong

Therefore, when I think of blaming a child for things a caregiver is fundamentally responsible for, I believe it's more covert than blatant. I see it as the parent or authority figure consistently expressing their gripes and complaints about the circumstances of their life by mentioning how much they're 'looking forward to the times when the kids are out of the house because there will be more money, freedom, and ability to do things.'

When you realize the prefrontal cortex of a child's brain doesn't even begin to engage in critical thinking and reasoning until sometime between the ages of 6 and 7, remarks about life beyond kids are problematic. These statements are loaded with emotion. And even if such comments aren't said out loud, the aggravations, irritations and displays of being annoyed around the kids is uncomfortable and triggers the brain 'to be on alert and attentive'. Unfortunately, picking up on such displeasure stimulates the formation of reactive neural pathways in the child's brain. This starts in utero and continues on for the first few years of life.

Technically, it begins before conception and carries on mapping out reactive pathways for several years. (You can read more about stress and the brain in my last post by clicking here)

Although it's a proven possibility to disrupt this pattern of wiring and assist an individual's brain with becoming effectively responsive, such facts are not being discussed or even considered which only prolongs emotional instability in the masses as it maintains an instant false sense of responsibility for their role in life's problems or other people's unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

Another way false responsibility and toxic guilt automate your thoughts processes and reactions come from extremely high standards and expectations established early in life. This is where a child is disciplined for making mistakes or being imperfect and blamed for failing. Because children are dependent, they have no alternative but to accept and live with the type of attention they receive from their caregivers. Without a frame of reference, they don't see anything wrong with their world.

Clearly, it's not your fault.

It's not their fault either. You are, as they were, a product of beliefs and behaviors passed down through the generations.

Examples include:

  • endlessly studying only to get a 'less than favorable grade' ... you should have studied harder

  • not letting you help with something because you don't do it as well as they do

  • getting sick i.e. coming down with mononucleosis and being accused of kissing someone when you didn't (yes, this is my experience ...)

  • comparing your skills to that of other kids

  • not realizing you're unique and not only is there not a standard by which all children should operate within, you did not come with your own instructional manual

The last one:

  • why doesn't my child sleep like yours?

  • why is my child so nervous?

  • why does my child have such a hard time in social gatherings?

  • why doesn't my child like sports?

  • why doesn't my child like certain foods?

  • why does my child refuse to nurse?

  • why is my child always getting sick?

Questions like these and more are posted on multiple forums all over the internet! What do you see or hear when you review that list?

I hear a worried mom. And with the idea of false responsibility, there could even be a hint of 'what am I doing wrong?'.

I also see the passing of the baton. Although asked without malintent, these kids are developing a belief that there is something fundamentally wrong with them. How they navigate this as they grow up depends on their temperament and personality. This, however, does not negate the fact that they too will carry the gene of toxic guilt and false responsibility.

According to the CDC, 'health status is a measure of how people perceive their health'
Mintel, a market research company in London, reports that 35% of Americans aged 20 and older are obese. Yet, 88% of adults in the U.S. report they are healthy.
I have clients, myself included, that have lived the recommended 'healthy lifestyle' from not smoking to being physically active and eating the 'right' foods in order to control weight.
We were the kids that did what we were supposed to do. The results?
  • weight gain OR unable to build muscle (sometimes both)

  • sleep issues

  • mental health and mood disorders

  • autoimmune dis-ease, including chronic pain

  • high cholesterol

  • women's health issues, including PMS, hot flashes and even infertility

  • cancer

The common belief is that either you did something wrong, you're not one of the lucky ones or your body is defective / weak. I've even seen and heard the word, epigenetic mutations.

None of this is true!

The nature of nature is adaption as has been witnessed since at least the 1930's. Today's epigenetic changes are due to surviving the advancement of technology. This is not a statement of blame. It's simple fact. However, instead of being upfront and honest about what's really going on, public entities blame:

  • your lack of willpower

  • your poor choices

  • your lack of discipline

  • your genes

  • generational trauma

  • you

Your first step is to recognize the gift in Nature and I'm not referring to natural remedies. I'm talking about your very Nature. Your brain has been surviving life since the day you were conceived and between your internal wiring (not conditioning) and the external environment, your body is hanging on for dear life.

The body follows the brain ...

And due to the importance of this topic, you are invited to secure your spot for this unprecedented conversation on the 10th of August at 7p eastern for Unmasking False Responsibility: The Hidden Impact of 'Blame' and How It Affects Your Health


  • freedom of mind and body: there's a difference between living well and aging well

  • cleaner relationships: a unique way of saying stronger, closer and transformational relationships

  • living your dreams, not just wondering about them

  • freedom from managing symptoms: know how to take charge of your health regardless of what's going on in your life and the world around. No matter what's in the news, your brain has the ability to survive. With your awareness, it has the ability to do better than survive ... your birthright is good health! AND, so it is for your children!

  • because responsibility is NOT blame, judgement OR credit ... it's owning your energy and how you show up in all areas of life!

Let's talk!


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