(h1) Getting Unstuck
(h3) The Blame Game
A coaching client, who I’ll call Ruth, was very negative and going on and on about ruining a car. Her husband telling her it was all her fault.
What I heard was he should’ve fixed the car before she left or let her take the other car. She had an emergency with her mother and had to travel several miles. I started questioning her.
Did you destroy the car on purpose?
No, he warned me it was a possibility that the car could overheat
Did you run the car on purpose to cause it to overheat? No
But because of it, we’re in severe financial straits.
This went on and on blaming herself. For taking the trip. For the car breaking down.
The motor issue happened years ago and she blamed herself for their financial distress. A son not being able to go to college. Everything was her fault in her mind.
Listening to her, she sounded so wounded and hurt. I needed to find a way to bring her up out of this despair. So I asked the question: When are you going to forgive yourself?
There was silence. Then she said, “I don’t know. I never thought of it.”
I asked her to repeat after me. “I forgive myself for the car breaking down. It was an accident. I didn’t do it on purpose.” She started giggling. I requested she repeat after me again. “I am a good person. I make sound decisions. I take responsibility for my actions when I’m wrong. I love myself.”
She paused. I asked her how she was feeling. She said better that it felt like a load had been lifted. I instructed her to repeat that to herself several times over the week until we talk again.
The next week when we spoke, she sounded better and was less negative.
Sometimes even if things are our fault, you need to learn to forgive yourself.