The Easy Place

The Quest for Self Awareness One Moment at a Time

Letting Go of Guilt

For some reason, this post is difficult to write.  I know what I want to say, but the subject of guilt feels twisted and hard.  The word itself is like a gulp of shame – guilt.

I see guilt woven throughout my life, and throughout the lives of most people I know.  We feel guilty for not only what we’ve done but also for our thoughts and desires, what we’ve wanted, what we’ve almost done.  We even feel guilty for what others have done. 

We feel guilty for being different from those around us. 

A spider walks across my desk and I feel guilty for wanting to kill it rather than take it outside and let it loose.  (I end up blowing it to the floor and pretending it isn’t there.)

Guilt is like a big pot of self hatred sitting in the middle of our lives, simmering and waiting patiently for the next piece of raw emotion to be dumped in.  Anything goes – it doesn’t matter if the guilt is deserved or not, it’s all the same in this hard place.   If it feels bad we must have done something wrong, so in the pot it goes. 

Of course there are times when guilt is the right response, the clean, correct, and healthy response.  When we’ve done something that violates our moral code our guilt is a signal that we need to correct our error and make amends.   And then move on. 

But that’s the only time that guilt is the right response.  We’re not guilty just because people we love are in pain, or when we don’t meet other’s expectations.  We’re not guilty because we tried something and failed, or because we’re not willing to do what others want us to do. 

We’ve done nothing wrong unless we’ve done something wrong.

So enough with the guilt.  Let’s move on and spend our energy on something else.   

***

What guilt have you been holding on to that doesn’t belong to you? 

***

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3 responses to “Letting Go of Guilt

  1. Dawnika July 12, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Sometimes I feel guilty for my blessings. Often times I feel guilty for saying stupid things. I can feel the guilt balling up in my chest. All I can say is “guilt, thank you, but I don’t need you any more I want to learn from these mistakes, and hopefully do better next time!”

  2. Melinda July 13, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    What a great way to deal with guilt, Dawnika!!

    Mindy

  3. shorter university atlanta July 15, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. I think the only answer is to believe in ourselves. We can’t deny the fact that we are inferior to some people but we are superior to others too. Never loose confidence in yourself but still learn to listen and open your mind and heart to lifetime learning. Life only guarantees one thing and that is change. The situation might change but our confidence will remain still.

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