There are millions of people who are constantly living with feelings of guilt. Some feel guilty if they eat a rich dessert. Some feel guilty whenever something goes wrong, thinking they should have tried to prevent it. Some feel guilty because they recovered from some accident while others did not. Some feel guilty about their past behavior. Some just feel guilty about anything and everything.
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It is crucial that you dig deep inside you and find out what it is that you truly feel. You need to realize that abusers will abuse no matter what you say or do and that you are not responsible for their behavior. Do not let your guilt mislead you into believing that it is you who did something wrong. You need to accept that you are the one being wronged and you need to speak out or seek help.
Survivor’s Guilt is best described as a mental condition. It occurs when someone believes that he or she must have done wrong by being a survivor or a tragic or traumatic event. You may feel guilty that you survived a car accident that killed a family member. You may thing that you did not deserve to live through a war. You probably feel that you should have died instead of your mother. Survivor’s guilt can be very destructive. It can lead you to condemn or punish yourself for being alive. You can become debilitated by depression.
The best way to deal with survivor’s guilt is to talk about what happened. It will help you accept the fact that there are others who feel such feelings and that you are not alone. You need to let grief take it full course. Allow yourself to grieve. Try to find a support group or network. Seek help from professional counselors. They can guide you through the recovery process.
Break The Guilt Cycle
Guilt often turns into a cycle that is self-perpetuating. What happens is you do something, you feel guilty, you condemn or punish yourself, and you repeat the behavior whenever the opportunity presents itself.
The cycle keeps repeating itself because you are unable to take responsibility of what you do or for changing yourself. How do you begin to take responsibility? You must try to be honest. You need to honestly consider what part you play in the situation and accept it. If you are in an abusive relationship, you need to honestly look deep inside and accept that you did not do anything wrong.
how to let go of guilt
If you are feeling guilty for having done something wrong (healthy guilt), you need to take action to fix the situation. There are so many people who are just mega-gluttons for self-punishment; guilt is like a huge anchor weighing us down. It is easy to say “I’m sorry”-it won’t kill you. If you have offended someone by saying something offensive, apologize. You may find that it is not only more challenging to recognize that your busy work schedule is putting your marriage at risk, but also to actually make changes in your schedule.
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Healthy guilt keeps us in line. It tells us that we need to do something different from what we are currently doing so that we can fix relationships that are valuable to us. The sooner we make amends for what we have done wrong, the sooner the guilt will leave us alone. Accept that you did something wrong, make amends and move on.
Learn from your behavior
The purpose of guilt is not to make us miserable. Guilt is trying to tell us that there is something we can learn from what has happened. If we learn, it will be less likely that we will make the very same mistake again. Let us say that you have made a hurtful comment to someone, your guilt is telling you that (a) you should apologize and (b) take time to think about what you are going to say before you say it.
If the guilt that you are feeling is not trying to correct an actual wrong behavior (unhealthy guilt), then there is not much for you to learn. So instead of wracking your brains on how to change the behavior, you need to understand why such a behavior is making you feel so guilty. Let us say that you feel guilty about not being a good mother because you are not with your kids 24×7. Since you are a single parent, you need to work so you can provide a good future for your kids. There is no need for you to feel guilty. You are working for your kids’ sake. Being their shadow and staying glued to them 24×7 won’t put food on the table for them to eat.
No human being anywhere on this earth, or elsewhere, is perfect. Even the person you look up to as a hero has some flaws. Striving to be 100% in control all the time and making sure every tiny thing is perfect is a recipe for disaster.
All of us make mistakes and there are so many of us who take a path that can make us feel so guilty later in our lives. All we need to do is realize that we made a mistake and accept that we are not perfect. Spending every waking moment regretting something is not going to change anything. All it will do is disable you from moving on in your life. You are not perfect, neither is the rest of humanity.