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Guilt

Guilt is generally formed when we feel we have done something wrong, upset someone, when we feel responsible for upsetting someone or for doing something wrong.

You feel guilt because of doing or not doing something.

Most of the time guilt is formed due to another person.

Either;

  • We feel guilty, even when others don't blame us
    or
  • Other people blame us, thus we feel guilty.

However, occasionally we feel guilt before or during based on our opinion of what other people will think.

When no one else is involved directly; Guilt is formed when we feel we have let ourselves down.

Clarifying the Guilt

To often we feel guilt without truly looking into the true reasons. We see things on the surface, we stew inside and try to aimlessly make amends or apologise.

Understanding why you are feeling guilty in detail will help you to overcome the guilty feelings and where applicable; make amends.



Who is to blame?

If someone else is blaming you for something; you do have the choice to accept or reject that blame.

If you know completely that you did your best and that you had honest and good intentions, you do not need to take on the guilt. The person who is blaming you, blames you for their reasons. These reasons do not have to be YOUR reasons.

If you DO blame yourself; then there may be a way to make amends; if so, it may be wise to approach your options.

  • Genuinely being sorry and asking forgiveness.
  • Trying a second time to put things right
  • Asking someone else to help put things right

Understanding our actions and what we could/can do differently are paramount in helping to vanquish the guilt that we feel.

  • If you could do it again, how would you do things differently?
  • Why did you do what you did?
  • How did you feel at the time?

Please try to accept that you only did what you thought was right at the time. If since you have had new information which you didn't have initially; then you could not have known any better (new information being even as simple as not realising something MAY cause upset).

When the guilt started

Look carefully at when the guilt started.

After the event: You didn't know what you know now; at the time you felt no guilt. Something pulled you to do/not do whatever it was AT THE TIME.

At the time: Did you know it was wrong but wanted the experience all the same.. did you know it was right and were just afraid?

You do not need to feel guilty.

You simply need to accept what you did, and accept the consequences.

Occasionally; Guilt is formed when we've done something WE wanted to do, but which upset another person. In such an instance you need to ask yourself if you are being true to yourself; or trying to live up to someone else's expectations.

Do not allow anyone else to tell you what is right or wrong; do as is right for you. Take responsibility for your own feelings and allow others to take responsibility for theirs.

Making Amends

If you need to make amends; ensure that any other people whom are involved are fully aware of your new actions or intentions.

Do talk to them about what you would have done differently and WHY you did what you did. More often than not; the other persons blame will be based on what they have seen and not on YOUR truth. If you can sit and calmly talk with them about how you feel it may help.

Re-doing something in a better way isn't always possible. In such instances we have to simply acknowledge our mistake and commit to doing better next time.

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