Guilt vs Guilt

Guilt is supposed to happen.  Very young children feel guilt.  I notice my dog seems to feel guilt as she slinks into a room she knows she is not allowed to go.

Guilt dictionary meaning

1. the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law; culpability:

He admitted his guilt.
2. a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.
3. conduct involving the commission of such crimes, wrongs, etc.: to live a life of guilt.
I believe guilt is a motivator for correcting, apologizing or taking responsibility for something I did wrong or hurt someone else.  It is important to feel guilt.  Psychopath feels no guilt.  I believe guilt is healthy when it helps me correct my actions and become a better me.  When it doesn’t help is when I spin-out on a guilt trip of self condemnation over events or actions that I already corrected.  It doesn’t help when someone else projects their guilt on to me and expects me to feel guilty for their wrong doing.  It doesn’t help, when I feel the guilt and chain myself down with the weight of my poor choices until I can no longer move forward because I am carrying this horrible load of guilt.  Guilt used to improve and correct my course is healthy and healing.  Guilt heaped on me from past mistakes and collected and kept like a spiky jail, is twisted thinking that my counselor helped me unravel the knots.
I spent years sorting out what I did wrong, what I was blamed for, and what I could or could not do anything about.  There was many events that I felt were my fault in reality I was blamed but I did nothing wrong.  I was highly amused when I found the quote:
I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I am going to blame you.
I now wish I bought the t-shirt.  I need a visual reminder that not all things are my fault.  I do need to take responsibility for my actions, however, I need to let others take responsibility for their actions.  While looking up the word guilt I came across this link to an article on how to handle guilt:
Survivor’s guilt hit the headlines during the 9/11 attacks.  Why did I survive and the person 3 steps behind me didn’t?  It also applies to survivors of other types of trauma.  Another article I found addressing PTSD and trauma guilt suggests using Cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT.  When my counselor did this with me, he pointed out I was small, the adults were big.  I did not control the situation.  Nothing I could have done would have changed the out come.  It was powerful for me to finally understand, “It was not my fault and I had nothing to feel guilty about.”  There are more than enough things for me to feel guilty about that I did do.  Choosing to set down the heavy burden of guilt for surviving was difficult but I felt like I dropped a boulder out of my backpack.  I’m thankful for the counselor that helped me unpack some of my unneeded baggage.

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