Posted by: Donna Cunningham | January 5, 2010

Letting Go of Survivor Guilt–Learning the Limits of your Responsibility for Others

Donna says: In my search for articles to help us sort out those knotty relationship issues Saturn in Libra is bringing to the fore, I was once more wowed by an article at  in2themystic and asked permission to reprint a section of it here. I hope that it helps others  from troubled familes as much as it did me in sorting out how these early patterns can repeat themselves in relationships today.

 ©12-19-09 by guest blogger, Kachina of in2themystic

The past few days I have been in the space of a deep clearing of wounds that I had no idea I was carrying until recently when I happened to turn on the local news before bed—something I rarely do.

As soon as I turned it on, I heard a familiar name, and looked up just in time to see a man who as a boy was one of the friends I held as family. He was being featured, as once again he had been arrested for committing a crime, this one just the last in a string of these behaviors since his late teens.

I paused and for a moment was overwhelmed with love, sorrow, grief, and guilt. You see, of the friends I once had, many of them are long passed from this plane. Some were murdered, others committed suicide and some were taken by auto-accidents. Some who are still on this plane are incarcerated for serious crimes, and some are heavily addicted to various substances and spend their days numb and in pain.

So this night when I saw this man I once knew on the news, I had all that fly up within me, all of those memories, and I asked, “How did that happen? How did I get here, and they did not? How can that be, when surely we are close soul family…I loved them so much and I tried so hard to help them, and yet it didn’t really matter in the end, did it? I made it through, and they did not, why?”

Even writing that now I feel a tremendous squeezing in my heart and power chakras…and that is ok, I am just going to keep walking it through. So this was the moment, when I turned on the news, that a wound I did not know I even had, surfaced.

The energies we are feeling in the collective now are those of failure and hopelessness. Lately this collective energy has been quite strong, and chances are, and we all are resonating with it, in some manner.  I am carrying a tremendous amount of guilt born of my perceived failure, to assist my friends, to keep them safe. I thought I had left that far behind me, yet apparently I have not.  So I realized, that I was being invited and encouraged to understand the root of this ‘failure’ energy, not only in myself, but also in the collective. This meant I had to have a close look, at what constitutes responsibility, to another.

I feel our one and only true responsibility is one of Love.  We are to Love others, and to Love ourselves… everything else, is optional. From Love, all goodness and abundance springs forth. It is not our responsibility to ‘fix others’, through mending or taking upon ourselves, any of their ‘ills, sorrows or bad behaviors’ we may perceive them as having.

It is our responsibility, to aspire to love them as much as we possibly can, to allow them to live their life and lessons in accordance to their choosing, and to be there, with open arms, if they ever seek our assistance.

These things I write here now, I have been aware of for some time, yet now I needed to go back, and apply this knowing to this wound of my past, to release the energy of failure from myself, and to release any others, that I might be holding to me, in my mistaken belief of responsibility for them. 

And so I did.

I simply stated: “I release from myself, any and all perceived responsibility to another that has not served the Higher Good, of myself and/or the other. I also release any other, from any perceived responsibility they may feel towards me, that has not served the Highest Good of either their self and/or mine.”

I have also set within my energy patterns via intent, that all responsibility that I choose to accept with any other in the future shall be beneficial to both parties, and allow for both parties, free-will in all things, in respect of the inherent right of all Beings to choose their own course.

And I accept, that though I may not always be able to see the Higher Truth of any individuals choice and that I may feel their choice is not right for myself, that their choices are indeed what is best for their personal evolution and growth, and that it is not my right nor my responsibility, to in any way interfere with their process out of a need to ’save or fix’ them, unless they should make a direct request of my assistance.

I shall simply hold the space of Love, should they ever feel the need to enter.

Here is how I am interpreting all of this currently in the collective:   The collective energy of failure has come to a toxic degree and is being cleared at deep levels, stemming from many ages of patterning and conditioning nearly from birth, to ‘make the grade’, within societies that have become heavily Saturnian in nature. The final outcome in the collective is a work still in progress, and I don’t think any of us can say with a certainty what that final outcome shall be.

On the personal level, if what I have shared is resonating with you, here are some questions you may wish to ask of yourself:

Am I carrying a perceived ‘failure’ of responsibility to others?

If I am, how valid is this feeling today from my current understanding of what I view as my responsibility to another?

Is this sense of ‘failed’ responsibility within past relationships, now serving myself and or another, in a positive manner OR is it causing pain to either/both parties or limiting the forward growth of either/both parties?

If you are feeling the energy of failure stemming from past or current relationships, do you now wish to release yourself and/or another from it, and accept the Grace of healing of all wounds related to these experiences that is available to any Soul that chooses to be accepting of it?

Do you wish, from this day forward, to stand in the space of Love, as an offering to all whom wish to enter that space, instead of taking the initiative to carry the burden or sorrows of others out of a misplaced sense of responsibility for their well-being that only they, can truly be responsible for, via their exercising Free-Will and making their own choices?


 Donna says: See the full article, with its stunningly beautiful visions and mediations here: Healing the Wounds of Perceived “Failures” of Responsibility to Others and Kachina’s earlier guest blog on Skywriter here:  Saturn in Libra: How to Set Healthy Boundaries.

 The Author says of herself:   I’m Kachina, the author of “in2themystic”, a place born of my passion for sharing with others my knowledge acquired from my experiences as a practicing spiritual medium and energies worker/healer. I am also a pupil and practitioner of astrology. As an aspiring writer, I offer my personal insights into areas such as consciousness development, self-healing and self-empowerment. My insights are offered from the foundation of my own life challenges and achievements and from the experiences of others of which I have assisted in their journeys through self-healing towards self- realization. If you are interested in contracting my services, please see my “Consultations/Services” page for a description of my area’s of practice. Or, or write to me here:


  1. Thank you, Donna, for featuring my work once again.

    I am honored!

    Your formatting of my piece is perfect and while I respect the tremendous work you preform in service to others and I too benefit from, I can’t help but wish a day would come that you would possibly be interested in editing and proofing for someone like myself that finds those aspects of writing a challenge.((kidding..I think!)) Kachina

    • thank you again, Kachina, on behalf of all of us, for this article.

      As it happens, I do have a lot of editing experience, because I’ve edited newsletters and ezines for many years, mostly about flower essences. (See Vibration Magazine under Useful Sites.) And lately, Skywriter has functioned almost like an ezine. It’s been a great joy for me over the years to find and showcase exceptional talent like yours.

      But don’t underestimate yourself as a writer–I haven’t changed much of the writing itself at all, just shortened it to a blog-length piece. Donna

  2. What a lovely article, thank you!
    One of the huge challenges of any intuitive is to set firm boundaries. Psychic people absorb others’ energies and can be confused about whose energy is whose (sp?)
    This article has moved me tremendously and I want to tell you my take on this.

    Everyone comes into this plane with lots of work to do. It is never anyone’s responsibility to “save” anyone else. Feeling guilty or shamed or bad, feeling like a failure when others make bad choices, is detrimental , not only to you,but to the greater good.

    Standing in the space of love takes alot of faith and trust. These are my own issues & reading your article was a reminder of this.

    Do not doubt your writing ability. Your heart comes through loud and clear – after all, that is the most important part.

    Thank you again,

    • Thank you for sharing Molly, and for your kind encouragement upon my writing..that was absolutely lovely and much appreciated!

      Blessings! kachina

  3. Thanks you Kachina and Donna for putting this out there.

    It seems as though many of our “religious” lessons are less spiritual and more detrimental as time goes by. Caring for others becomes being overly responsible, and the guilt of that burden is heavy. While we should do all we can to support our fellow wo/man, being kind and loving is perhaps most important.

    Are we enablers if we disregard a person’s addiction? Are we really helping if we waste money on fancy restaurants instead of donating to food banks? Where does it end? And in terms of family – nuclear, extended or simply human – what exactly is expected of us? How much do we sacrifice???

    Sometimes when you “honor” your own needs, and step away from unhealthy people or situations, you end up feeling terrible about yourself. What more could I have done? Why wasn’t I stronger? Is it really OK to be estranged from family? Is prayer or sending “good thoughts” enough?

    I am trying to adopt the “Thank you. Forgive me. I’m sorry. I love you” approach, detailed here:

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