I have been learning a lot in my grief support group. One of the things that hit me is the concept of guilt. We have all claimed to have felt guilty at some point in our lives. I have an overwhelming sense of guilt being my dad’s primary caregiver and having to give him the medications the last few days of his life that kept him comfortable, but also kept him asleep. While my rational brain tells me I did what was needed and what he wanted at the end, the irrational part asks myself, “What if I kept him from everyone?” Now I know that’s not the case, but it is something that has played with my mind.

So that is one example. Another might be you got the job promotion but your friend was passed over, or you are economically finding yourself in a better position than your friend or family member. Or, you got pregnant and your friend who has been trying for a long time, has not. You see where I am going?

Well the actual definition of guilt is the intent to do harm. Most things we feel guilty about do not fit this definition. So if we didn’t intend to do harm, what is this feeling? I am learning it’s fear. Fear of what other might think, fear that I am not worthy, etc..

So knowing this is really a fear based emotion and not true guilt, I have something I can work with. I can overcome my fear. And as long as I know I am truly doing the best I can and not intending to cause harm, I will be ok. It takes work, but I have to keep reminding myself I am worth it.

How are you taking care of yourself today?

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