HEALTHAbsolving Yourself of Guilt

Absolving Yourself of Guilt

By: Geralyn St Joseph Intuitive Relationship Empowerment Coach

It’s very difficult having so much responsibility. What is yours? What is not? For all the lives and property you save, for all the people you help, it is often that one that you couldn’t save, or whose outcome was dire, that brings guilt into your heart. It’s hard to shoulder the weight of having someone’s life or livelihood in your hands. 

What you must consider is that it is not just in your hands. It is important to remember that the nature of your profession is prone to quick, life-and-death decisions. 

Sometimes you arrive in the nick of time to save the day, sometimes you don’t. You cannot expect to be the deus ex machina in everyone’s story. 

Guilt is a self-conscious emotion, meaning that it is completely an internal process developed through your perspective and sense of responsibility. Something important to learn about our emotional selves is that emotions are primarily transient. Emotions stay when they are being fed with our thoughts and beliefs. 

Guilt can lead us to change behavior seeking a more promising outcome. This is the purpose of guilt, it is meant to guide us. Conversely, it can weigh us down and drag us under when it is unrelenting. Guilt does this both when it is unfounded, and when we fear our actions are irredeemable. 

When we incur guilt via a missed opportunity, tragic mistake, or lapse of judgment, we must respect that the world does not rest on our shoulders. There will be missteps, and there may be regrets, but all you can do is learn from them and alter your course in the future when met with a similar situation. 

Reflect on your emotions to discern where they are coming from – has someone placed this responsibility on you? Have you shouldered the burden yourself? Is there something to gain from feeling guilty?

Talk to Yourself. You may use logic to battle those insistent voices in your head telling you how awful you are. Unfortunately, this does not work for everyone, but it’s a good start. 

Talk to Others. Find someone to talk to about your experiences. A professional is best, but a minister or good friend can be a sounding board. Often, when spoken aloud, our self-deprecating can be seen as the unreasonable bully it is. 

Focus on the Positive. Remember all the good you have done! 

Recharge, meditate, dance, and experience nature. Whatever works for you.

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