When I was 5 years old, my dad lost his job.
I was awake, watching Looney Tunes, when I heard his alarm going off.
It continued for several minutes, so I carefully walked into my parents’ room where they were both passed out in their bed.
I remember standing there next to my Dad’s side of the bed, looking at him, looking at the alarm clock and not knowing what to do.
I remember thinking “Should I wake him up? His alarm is going off. But he’s an adult, so maybe he wants to sleep through his alarm? But then why would he set an alarm?”
It was an internal battle of not knowing what to do.
Then suddenly, my Dad’s eyes flew open and he looked at me, then looked at his alarm. He jumped out of bed and got dressed and out the door faster than anyone else I know.
I remember him asking me “Why didn’t you wake me up?”
I didn’t have an answer. I may have been perceptive, but I wasn’t yet able to put my thoughts and feelings to words.
He lost his job for being late one time.
Now I know he didn’t mean to blame me.
Now I know that it’s not a 5 year old’s job to wake her Dad up.
Now I know that my parent’s financial struggles had nothing to do with me.
Now I know I couldn’t have prevented any of my mother’s depression or my parent’s relationship problems.
Now I know none of it was my fault.
But for 30 years I thought it was my fault. For 30 years I thought I could have done something differently that would have changed the entire trajectory of my parent’s life and my life. For 30 years I was carrying guilt and shame that I didn’t need to carry.
Because nobody told me.
If you are carrying any guilt or shame from your past, I am here to tell you: it’s not your fault. Your choices wouldn’t have changed anything. It was all supposed to happen exactly that way.
If you have a life better than you expected, more than you dreamed of, you even have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, yet you still feel miserable, it might be because of guilt or shame you are unnecessarily carrying.
It’s time to put it down.
You’ll be better for it, I promise.
I’m launching a group coaching program January 27th. If you want to do the work of letting go of the shame, I invite you to schedule a free shame assessment here.