This is all your fault!


Who is responsible for all the pain you are feeling right now?

It is a natural human response to blame some circumstance or person when things go wrong.  When my mom was killed in a car accident, I blamed the car company for not installing side air bags.  I blamed the weather.  I wondered why Mom was driving so fast, why she or Dad hadn’t put new tires on the car.  Why she had to get in the car on a stormy day to drive to someone else’s anniversary celebration.  Was it really that important?  When I was going through my divorce, I blamed him over and over.  It was all his fault that the marriage had ended.

It is a natural part of grief recovery to get angry and blame something outside ourselves.  If, however, we make others responsible for causing our feelings, we also make them responsible for ending them.  There is no power in that.

We have been brought up to believe that we are victims of situations and often helpless in our responses to those events.  If only we could just “let go.”  But, our human hearts do not work that way either.  You can’t change until you can take responsibility for your own recovery.

When we were children, we really did not have power to change our circumstances nor the actions of the adults in our lives.  We are now adults and when we sustain and recreate our own disempowered memories, we remain stuck in that pain.

In The Grief Recovery Handbook, John W. James and Russell Friedman advise that you just take 1% responsibility for what has happened and for your feelings.  This is a small but absolutely necessary step to moving away from being a victim of loss and into the next stage of grief recovery, healing, empowerment.

Action Item : Take your 1% responsibility.  What are you responsible for?   How did you contribute to the breakdown of your marriage or the loss you are grieving?  Journal about it for two pages.  

Remember, this is not an exercise so that you can beat yourself up or feel bad about what you did.  This is an exercise in honesty.  Be honest with yourself and forgive yourself.  Do you feel more open?  How do you feel?

I would love to respond to your comments and/or questions below.

Namaste, Candace

 

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