The Guilt Standard

I’ve been trying to rack my brain, thinking of what I want to write about.  There are many things swimming around in my head and some are sensitive in nature, you see.

It’s all sensitive because it involves many topics where people don’t just go with an open mind and, free of prejudice and willing to listen, they share and dialogue and understand and nod their heads and go, "I see your point– whether I agree or disagree, I see it."

Guilt is at the core of why we sometimes can’t see points others are trying to make.  Guilt is why so many people think this particular blog entry is so good –without examining its bias, exaggerations and obvious deep-running guilt; and guilt is why this campaign never actually was allowed to launch.  In our political playground, guilt is why people can’t see why Senator Biden calling Senator Obama "clean" is disrespectful even (or especially?) if it wasn’t done intentionally.  Guilt is also why the press felt so compelled to cover it, too.  Guilt lies behind the fact that "Scooter" Libby is the one being charged of crimes that others started.  And guilt is at the bottom of why we’re just now finding out that the Veterans Administration does not care for its own as it should.  Guilt is not limited to motherhood and its endless array of choices: guilt is an everyday problem.

Guilt hides in why we cannot forgive ourselves for silly things from the past, and not-so-silly ones.
Guilt makes it hard to listen and makes every phrase sound like an accusation.
Guilt is why people go to high school reunions, and it is also why they dread them.
Guilt is why people punish themselves at the gym (instead of enjoying it) and make New Year’s resolutions that are too hard too keep, therefore prompting a ridiculous cycle of feeling guilty for feeling guilty.

But guilt isn’t something that should cripple or turn us into bitter people.  Guilt is part of our realization that we are, indeed, human.  And guilt is part of that bereavement process.
Some of us have made choices that have proved to be less than stellar.  Some of us have been forced by life or circumstances to make a choice that now, with more knowledge and experience, we may grow to regret.  Some of us have made selfish choices and some of us have made choices out of laziness.  But we need to embrace that guilt and ask ourselves, "Is my guilt out of something I could have prevented?"

If it is, fix it and stop feeling guilty.  It is that simple.
If it isn’t, then forgive yourself and realize that you had no choice.  Love yourself for the person you’ve become: the person who has grown so much he or she realizes that a mistake was made but that it is impossible to change the past.
Embrace yourself.  Embrace the present.
And try, in the future, not to make the same choice that prompted your guilt.

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This entry was published on March 7, 2007 at 12:40 pm and is filed under Soapboxing. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “The Guilt Standard

  1. Guilt. The bane of my existence as a parent. I possessed the guilt before, but now it’s three times as bad, and often keeps me awake at all hours of the day. I constantly remind myself to live in the here and now rather than dwelling on the what if’s. Very hard to do!

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