Guilt

Guilt


Question:
I live my life in a state of guilt. It seems like I never do enough, I can never be good enough. I donít even want to get out of bed.


Answer:
Guilt is a terrible thing! I also have a propensity to feel guilty a lot over many things. Like I can feel heavy guilt every single day about what I'm not doing and then add it all up in the evening and overwhelm myself with all that I didn't do that day but should have. I grew up in an environment in which the highest value was placed on achievement.

Seems like the answer is so easy. My wise mind tells me, "Let go. In the moment you are just fine. You don't have to put this pressure on yourself. This guilt is completely self-generated, not from any outside source. You always do the best you can. Things will eventually be come together. In the big picture, it's more important that you lived this day with integrity -- paying attention to the present moment when you could and treating others with love and dignity."

If I can remember, I take a moment to have compassion on myself --trying to see myself as I would if I were somebody else. Or seeing myself from God's eyes. I try to see the hurt child inside me and love her and comfort her instead of being mad at her.


In the end, it's a day to day thing. Sometimes I feel less guilt, sometimes I feel more. I hope that if I keep TRYING to access wise mind and be self-compassionate that in the long run I'll feel less and less guilty. In the meantime, I acknowledge that it's part of my diagnosis. BPD people tend to be obsessive in their thinking and have trouble letting go of it. I see all those little serotonin guys trying to make the leap from connector to connector in my brain and see that some of them are in a feedback loop. I try to visualize it being fixed. But mostly, on heavily guilt-ridden days, I just have to live with the icky feeling. I might KNOW that it's an inappropriate response, but knowing doesn't always change the feeling.

I'm sorry I don't have a "quicker fix" idea to overcoming feeling guilty. But I've learned in my years of therapy, there are very few silver bullets out there. For the most part, it's a process of:


1. becoming aware of the issue


2. finding the strength and willingness to deal with the issue


3. learning helpful "re-conditioning" skills that work for the particular moment


4. practicing the skills and persevering


5. over a period of time, gradually becoming aware that the issue is diminishing.


- Lisa

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