gavel in trial courts for guilty and not guilty suspects

Toxic Guilt, Healthy Guilt (Part 2 of 2)

Learn more of about guilt, read the previous article:

Toxic Guilt, Healthy Guilt (Part 1 of 2)

 

Continuation:

 

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:

  1. the belief that you can control others feelings and behavior by doing things “right”
  2. leads to self-judgment to control your own behavior to get yourself to do it “right”
  3. which leads to toxic guilt.

The way out of toxic guilt is to:

  1. fully accept of your lack of control over others feelings and behavior
  2. which leads to a lessening of self-judgment
  3. 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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gavel to use for guilty and not guilty suspect

Toxic Guilt, Healthy Guilt (Part 1 of 2)

Guilt

Are you plagued with guilt? There is a big difference between healthy guilt and toxic guilt. In this article, learn what creates toxic guilt and how to heal it.

It is important

Guilt is an important feeling. It is the appropriate feeling to have when we have deliberately done something hurtful or harmful to others. People who can harm others without any feelings of guilt or remorse were formerly called sociopaths or psychopathic personalities, and are now defined as suffering from Anti-social Personality Disorder.

Anti-social Personality Disorder is a severe disorder that includes – along with many other symptoms – the lack of a conscience. Without a conscience, people can deliberately harm others without ever feeling guilt or remorse.

While it is very important to feel guilt at deliberately harming others, many people feel toxic guilt. Toxic guilt is inappropriate guilt – guilt that comes from self-judgments regarding having done something wrong when is no actual wrongdoing.

A true story

For example Fran, one of my clients, was exploring the guilt she feels when she speaks with her mother.

Feelings of guilt

“No matter what I say, my mother always seems to feel hurt and then I feel guilty at hurting her. Sometimes I wish I never had to talk with my mother. I don’t want to not have a relationship with her, but I hate feeling guilty all the time.”

Fran’s feelings of guilt are not coming from actually inflicting harm on her mother. Her feelings are coming from the self-judgment that she absorbed from her mother’s judgments of her.

Her guilt is coming from the fact that she is telling herself she is doing something wrong. Fran falsely believes that if someone feels hurt, it must be her fault.

Fran’s mother taught him that when her mother was feeling hurt, it was his fault. Now Fran feels guilty whenever someone she is involved with feels hurt or angry.

It is in the beliefs

However, it is not the other person’s feelings, nor their blame, anger or judgment toward her that is causing Fran to feel guilty. It is her own self-judgment that is causing her feelings of guilt.

If Fran did not believe that she was responsible for causing others’ feelings, she would not feel guilty when her mother or others blamed her for their feelings.

 

Continue reading:

Toxic Guilt, Healthy Guilt (Part 2 of 2)

people meditating for inner peace

Challenging Life For Inner Peace (Part 2 of 2)

Looking to achieve the inner peace? Do not forget to read the recent article below in case you missed it:

Challenging Life For Inner Peace (Part 1 of 2)

 

Continuation:

 

Quietness of the mind

Peace in true definition is a quietness of the mind. If the mind requires quietness then it is up to you to shut up the argumentation. It usually goes on between the emotions, subconscious, and conscious mind.

The subconscious mind has goodies waited inside, and it is up to you to hunt them down and find it. Once you make contact with your subconscious, you will be surprised what comes out.

To do it, it takes skill, effort, patience, and long-suffering. As well as the ability to find your way out of havoc and into inner peace.

Quietness of the mind means there is no area for suffering and pain.  What we obtain will go to lengths to remain in tact from the chaos.

Liberate the mind

During your time searching for inner peace, you will need to learn how to liberate the mind. Liberating the mind means, you are willing to give all your guilt, prejudices, shame and lies. It also includes negative thoughts, and other harmful thinking to God and let go for life.

Once you reach this agreement with self then you will feel peace within your being. And once you gain this feeling continue to let go and fight for your inner peace.

Final thoughts

Well, we are nearing the end now of this article. I hope that you have learned from this work, since peace is everything. Like you, I want inner peace for everyone. This brings us to another point.

We cannot control others; therefore, we must learn to control self. When you spend time controlling others you are burning up energy. The energy can be utilized to find and save your inner peace.

Asking questions will bring forth light. Thus, finding inner peace means that you must learn to communicate with self. Learn the strategies of communication, or the creativity of communication. It is a tool you need to move along without stumbling along the way.

Do you believe what I said in the last few words of the sentence? If you think, you are not going to stumble along the way to finding inner peace, stop and read this article again.

 

— end —

man without a shirt yelling

Guilt and Self-Destructive Behaviors (Part 4 of 4)

Please read the very informative first, second and third part.

 

Continuation:

 

Did you act like the member of the indigenous tribe and make sacrifices to appease your gods (okay, parents)? Did you change something normal in yourself in order to not hurt them again? Was the result that you resented yourself for appeasing your parents at your own expense?

If so, your resentment will also have you trapped in self-defeating responses as you go through life. What might that look like? You might rebel against the mother in the joke and become unresponsive to anyone who wants your interest.

Or, in response to a controlling parent, you might become stubborn, defiant, and disagreeable, no matter how severe the cost is to you. Throughout your life these qualities will undermine your relationships with others and also your goals.

Congratulations, You’ve Been Hired by Mystery Firm

Changing to keep our parents happy, or at least to not make them angry, is something you may have tried while growing up. But did you know exactly what you were changing and why? And if you didn’t, did you still try to change anyway?

Compare your situation to this one and see if it helps put it all in perspective for you. You’ve been job-hunting for a while and now at last your search is over. You’ve landed a job.

Only problem is, you don’t know what the job entails, the expectations of you, and what the requirements actually are. One day you walk into work and your boss is angry with you and you don’t know why.

You find yourself thinking, “What did I do?” “Was it the way I handled report A, was it the way I dealt with situation B, or maybe it was how I dealt with customer C?”

You decide which situation you think it was and then you make what you think is the appropriate change. Next time, you think (and hope) it will be different. Your boss will have nothing to be angry about.

You’ve taken care of the problem. Does that make sense to you? Changing but not knowing what you did wrong or fully understanding the situation before you start to make the change?

If you don’t know what the problem is, how can you possibly to fix it? To an adult this probably doesn’t make sense, does it? But this is what we, as kids, do.

Right or wrong, sense or nonsense, we try to change to make sure our parents (or other siblings) won’t be angry or hurt. We’re always trying to keep those “gods” of ours happy so they don’t get angry.

 

— end —

two persons on bad terms sitting apart

Guilt and Self-Destructive Behaviors (Part 3 of 4)

Do not miss out the first and second part.

 

Continuation:

 

Chances are you’d know that if that person behaved badly, it wasn’t your fault. But with your parent or sibling, you’ve been blamed for their unhappiness over a long, long time and you’ve been burdened by long-lasting feelings of (unconscious) guilt.

Why is it so difficult to avoid feeling guilty toward your parents when you probably wouldn’t blame yourself for the badly behaving stranger?

The Gods Must Be Angry

As children, we view our parents in the same way that members of a primitive tribe view their gods. When the gods are angry, the heavens erupt and earthquakes, floods, and droughts occur.

Tribal elders know for certain that the gods must be appeased. Amends must be made for hurting the gods. With a lack of knowledge about the causes of the natural disasters it experiences, the tribe assumes that it has angered the gods of nature.

And so by altering its behavior through prayer, performing rituals and sacrifices, the tribe believes it can placate the offended gods and so alleviate the punishment.

But in altering its behavior in order to amend and atone, the tribe may make accommodations even if they’re detrimental to its well-being—for instance, sacrificing a cow even if there’s a shortage of cows.

In the same way, as a child you assumed that your behavior was responsible for provoking your parents. Though this assumption was often just a general feeling and not clearly well thought out, it was based on real experiences with siblings or parents who constantly acted hurt, threatened, or angered by your normal behaviors.

Remember the mother in the joke at the beginning of the chapter—the one who made her son feel guilty about not paying enough attention to her? Have you ever been in a similar situation? If so, what did you do?

 

Continue reading the last part.