Ask and ye shall receive...
From my perspective, what Iíve come to understand of guilt (which is plenty) is this: guilt stems from feeling as though we are doing something (or someone) wrong. My question is this: why do we feel that what we are doing is wrong? Is it because (1) someone else has told us it is wrong, (2) society as a whole makes us feel it is wrong, or (3) deep down, we personally believe that it is wrong?
Who determines what is right and/or wrong for us as individuals (and why do we give others that power)? I try to discern between these three causes and react as follows:
1. If someone else has told me I am doing something wrong, I determine if they are directly involved (or if my actions affect them directly). If not, their opinion really doesnít matter. Iíll listen, Iíll consider all data presentedÖbut I wonít feel guilt because Iím ďnot living MY life by someone elseís rules.Ē If they ARE directly involved, then we (together) need to figure out where the problems lie and try to address them. This is where open communication is essential. Did the person actually TELL me that Iím doing something wrong, or am I picking up on signals the other person is giving off indicating their unhappiness, resulting in me feeling guilty? Basically, at this point, itís time to sit down and talk about whatever is bothering both of you, holding NOTHING back, and striving for resolution.
2. If itís society as a whole that is the cause of the guilt, I try to toss that guilt right out the window. There is no one-size-fits-all in this world. And what works for some may not work for others. We all have to make our own way in life. Life is short. I donít want to have any regrets or wonder ďwhat ifĒÖall because I wasnít true to myself. Again, Iím not going to live MY life by someone elseís rules.
3. If I personally believe I am feeling guilt because I feel like Iím doing something wrong, then I clearly need to do some soul-searching to figure out what the problem is, talk it out with the person involved/affected, make amends if necessary, and adjust my actions accordingly.
Oh yes, Iíve struggled with guilt.
The good news is that it CAN be overcome!
Oh, and jealousy, from my perspective, stems from one of two things: (1) needs not being met, or (2) fear of losing something. Again, both can be addressed and overcome. It will just take lots of time (proven experience) and LOTS of reassurance.