I don’t know how your mind works, but I can only deal with me.
If I have deliberately hurt or upset you (or through wilful inaction hurt or upset you) then I am responsible for your resulting emotional response. If you have deliberately hurt or upset me (or through wilful inaction hurt or upset me), then you are responsible for my resulting emotional response.
Other than that, I am responsible for my own emotions, and you are responsible for yours. People like me, who are recovering from abuse and co-dependency, consider other people’s feelings, opinions and emotions by default. We have to remind ourselves to consider our own emotions and opinions. We have to remind ourselves to put ourselves first, to love ourselves first.
I cannot give love away unless I know how to love myself first.
The diametric opposite of co-dependents exist. They like to take advantage of the fact that co-dependents consider others’ emotions before their own, because these opposites always consider their own feelings first, before they can ever be bothered to consider anyone else’s (if, in fact, they ever do).
I am not responsible for your feelings. I will be responsible for no one else’s feelings but my own. I will play that game no longer. If an individual persists in wanting me to be responsible for his or her feelings, I will have no choice but to move away, emotionally and possibly physically.
This is, in fact, biblical. If your eye offends, cut it out, says Jesus. In other words, if anything makes me continue a negative behaviour, I must cut it out. If that something is a person, I will ‘cut them out’ (if they don’t respond when I gently confront them over their behaviour). I have no choice. Making myself sad or upset in order to avoid making him or her sad or upset is wrong. If I continue to allow myself to be treated in this way I allow and perpetuate sin.
I am responsible for my own feelings. You are responsible for your own feelings. I have said sorry (and meant it) for the things I needed forgiveness for.
It’s not just feelings, it is actions too. I cannot judge you. I have no place to judge you. In the same way you cannot judge me. You have no place to judge me. I can observe. You can observe. But judgement belongs to God.
Justice, too, belongs to God. Which is just as well, because if you got what you deserved, you’d be burning as I write. Me too. Grace cannot be earned; it is given. If I have grown in love, it is only by grace. My own efforts amount to naught. The only one qualified to judge is one without sin.
So why do so many Christians think it is their place to judge? Are they really without sin? What happened to love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
Lord, forgive our foolish ways