5 Simple Tips to Overcome Guilt

“Guilt is anger directed at ourselves – at what we did or did not do.”
~Peter McWilliams

 

Guilt is an emotional warning sign that serves to let us know when we’ve done something wrong.

It’s a self-policing mechanism that we all have.

It helps us to improve our behavior, act in the best interest of society, and avoid making the same mistake twice.

But it can also steal our joy, make us feel miserable, and keep us in a negative mindset.

It can undermine our self-esteem and prevent us from having fulfilling relationships.

Most of us do an amazing job every day – either at work or at home – but still feel plagued by guilt.

How can we overcome these feelings?  How can we determine what feelings are important and beneficial to us, and which ones are not?

 

5 Simple Tips to Overcome Guilt

1) Determine if your guilt is healthy

It takes some self-examination to figure out what you’re feeling guilty about.

Healthy guilt is very beneficial to keeping meaningful relationships.  It prevents us from taking action that could hurt others.

It’s completely rational to feel guilty after saying something hurtful to someone or spending too much time at work instead of with your family.

This guilt is healthy and serves to warn you that either your thoughts, behavior, or morals need to change.

On the other hand, feeling guilty over the actions of others, or when there’s nothing to feel guilty about is not healthy.

As an introvert, I used to feel guilty when I needed to spend some time alone.  This wasn’t me being anti-social, I just needed time to relax and recharge a little.
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An Open Letter To Brittany Maynard

Brittany Maynard, who is recently married, has terminal brain cancer. She was told she would have 10 years to live, but then the tumor grew significantly and her time became much shorter. She and her family made the choice to move to Oregon, where she is allowed to “die with dignity.” And no, this does not imply that everyone who does not choose this route is not “dying with dignity.” Its not one extreme or the other.”Dying with dignity” means that a person has the legal right to choose how to end their life when facing a terminal illness. And no, this does not mean that people are for suicide in general. Believe it or not, but there are more than two ways of looking at things. Life is not all black and white, in fact the majority of it is lived in the grey.

Dear Brittany,

 

Thank you. Thank you for using the little time that you have remaining to bring attention to the “death with dignity” debate. I can only imagine the kind of physical, mental and emotional stress that you are currently experiencing. My imagination is not the same, nor could it be even close to the real thing. When I read about your story yesterday, my heart began to fill with an ocean of sadness. It began to swirl with emotions and thoughts as I tried to comprehend the depth and gravity of the situation that you currently find yourself in. It’s a natural reaction, to view another’s situation from your own perspective. Empathy is how we connect to one another; it’s our deepest form of love and understanding. In the vast depth of human emotion, it can be easy for anyone to lose their way. The strong emotional current can swell around us and we become lost in ourselves, lost from the initial response of love that we naturally feel for one another.

 
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The incredulous Matt Walsh: A Response to his Robin Williams Did not Die of a Disease Blog

Over the past 24 hours we have had Depression and Suicide brought to the public’s attention. I have read many blogs over the last few hours as I am dealing with the feelings of losing something that brings back feelings from my teenage years, something I may have never dealt with. These feelings are valid in the sense that they are a part of me and I probably should acknowledge with them.

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What has started as a desire to hash out my feelings, figure out where they lay, and become determined to confront them, I have found a new inspiration that has spun from my desire for confrontation. You can read my first blog here. Depression and Suicide are topics that are simply not talked about or only begrudgingly. Death is not something people like to analyze and neither is unhappiness both of which result from the aforementioned concepts. What I have found to be incredibly angering are some of the responses I have gotten from my interactions with my previous blog. Though those only pale in comparison to a recent blog post I read by Matt Walsh, who appears to be a blogger and online news personality. Personally I have seen his name come up from the conservative christians on my page re-posting his blogs. Normally I do not read these as I know that I would disagree with most of what he posits. But today is different. Today he “clarified” his twitter response to Robin Williams death. His comments where this, “When we talk about depression we shouldn’t pawn the whole thing off on “chemical imbalances.” It’s not just clinical. It’s spiritual.”

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The Death of a Hero: Reflections on Changing the Future

As I sit here typing, feeling the words flow from me, I feel anguish, horror, anger, resentment, despair and an overwhelming need for a hug. Last Wednesday, we had Rebecca Hensler from Grief Beyond Belief on our show. The night was an emotional one as we learned about dealing with grief as a nonbeliever. I delved into the latter part of the show with a slightly emotional story about my father in law and his passing this year from a sudden heart attack. He was only 65 years old and there is still a hole in my heart that will not ever be filled. My father in law was a hero fighting in Vietnam, and raising a wonderful family while sacrificing his needs for the needs of the family. My father in law brought joy to us and I can proudly say he was a hero in his own way.

Tonight, I have learned that another hero of mine has passed away. The inter-webs have reported that Robin Williams has died at the age of 63 of an apparent suicide. Now many of you may scoff at the word hero, some may even lampoon me for saying so. But to me Robin Williams, even though his downfalls, is a hero in every right. A hero is defined as this, “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.” I do not wish to get hung up on dictionary definitions that paint heroes only as men and I will openly state for the record that all genders have the ability to be heroes casting aside unnecessary and obsolete limitations. But this definition of a distinguished, courageous, and admired individual who has done noble things is what drives me to label Mr. Williams a hero.
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