Oy… The Guilt!

the guiltOy… The Guilt! Guilt and shame, especially the toxic variety, are some of the most corrosive feelings and emotions that we can have. Nothing can crush a person’s self-esteem or self-image like an overabundance of guilt.

Oy… The Guilt!

My mother could have been a travel agent because I cannot tell you how many guilt trips she sent me on as a child/kid/young man. Oy… the guilt that I shouldered not only from things that I “might” have done, but there was plenty of guilt handed out over things that I was probably going to do in the future on top of everything else.

The result… most of my life I felt guilty about, well, everything. And because I felt guilty about everything, who I was, what I liked, what I wanted to do when I grew up, all of it… it caused me to live a fear-based life which to be honest… was not a lot fun.

I lived in fear because I was deathly afraid of ever doing anything that would cause more guilt and shame… see how that works?

Guilt can be a very depressing feeling that prevents you from moving forward with your life. We have all felt it but it is very important to understand how to deal with and stop those negative feelings, deal with your past actions, in order to learn, grow, and to move forward in life.

Feelings of guilt do have a positive side… the awareness of guilty feelings does a lot to keep our personal actions in check. And it is good to feel guilty about something you might have done wrong so that you can apologize, make amends, and learn from your mistakes.

But unhealthy guilt… or unproductive guilt because it does not serve any purpose, just makes us feel bad. This is the kind of bad guilt that we wallow in and beat ourselves up with every day… all day, every day…

Sometimes my own personal feelings of guilt run so deep that I find myself feeling guilty over something but when I take a moment to examine that guilt I can not find a reason… it’s just there! I feel like I did something wrong when in fact, most of the time, I didn’t really do anything at all!

When you feel guilty about something, it is important to identify what you feel guilty about and why. Identifying the source of your guilt and why you feel guilty can help you to determine if you are experiencing healthy or unhealthy guilt. Either way, you must to work through these feelings in order to overcome and move past them.

Dealing with guilt or feelings of being guilty is really quite simple… First, did you actually do something that harmed or injured another or yourself? If you did… then own it, fix it, clean it up, make it right and forgive all who need forgiveness, even yourself.

That is how you dispel that particular feeling of guilt… that’s how you adult.

But if you are wandering around moaning, “Oy… the guilt” when in fact there is nothing to really feel guilty about, now it is time to get serious about taking a self-inventory and getting to the root of things.

Guilt can interfere with daily life and happiness, and talking to others, professionals whether a coach or a therapist can really help here. Without the insight of others, it may be hard to understand your guilt and determine the best way to deal with those feelings.

Life is too precious and short to live with constant guilt and or shame. This is why learning forgiveness is so important. This is why learning how to not take things personally is so important. This is why letting go of crap is so important…

Oy… the guilt – that is not me anymore and hopefully not you either… remember… an honest man’s pillow is his peace of mind… not the guilt that he continues to carry around all of the time.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – A Certified Life Coach In Aspen Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 21 November 2016

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