Learn more of about guilt, read the previous article:
Fran actually knows that she is not doing anything wrong. Yet she continues to judge herself whenever her mother or others are hurt or upset. There is a very good reason for this.
Fran WANTS to believe that she is causing others’ feelings because it gives her a sense of control over how others feel about her. The wounded part of her that wants to control how others feel about her reasons that, “If I can cause others to be hurt or upset, I can also cause them to be loving and accepting.
If I just do things right, then I can control how others feel about me and treat me.” This belief in control gives Fran the illusion of safety. She does not want to know that she is not in control over how others feel about her and treat her.
She does not want to know that she does not pull the strings on others’ feelings and behavior.
While Fran doesn’t like the feeling of guilt, she is unconsciously willing to go on feeling guilty in order to maintain her illusion of control. If she comes into truth about her lack of control over how others feel about her and treat her, her toxic guilt will disappear. Toxic guilt and an addiction to control go hand and hand.
The toxic guilt and healthy guilt
We all need to be able to feel healthy guilt – the guilt that comes from actual wrongdoing. But toxic guilt is not good for anyone. You can move beyond toxic guilt by understanding that:
- the belief that you can control others feelings and behavior by doing things “right”
- leads to self-judgment to control your own behavior to get yourself to do it “right”
- which leads to toxic guilt.
The way out of toxic guilt is to:
- fully accept of your lack of control over others feelings and behavior
- which leads to a lessening of self-judgment
- which leads to a lessening of toxic guilt.
With practice, you can completely eliminate your toxic guilt. It’s all up to you!
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