Guilt is often exaggerated which creates suffering. Our ability to twist & turn a normal situation into a dramatic episode leading to self torture is amazing. I listen to people make wild, inventive leaps about what they should have done. This level of self torture really needs to be interrupted with a compassionate reality check.

It is ordinary to make mistakes.

It is ordinary to feel anger toward people we love.

It is ordinary to lust & not act on it.

It is ordinary to be able to leave a relationship that squelches your spirit.

It is ordinary to disagree in a relationship.

It is ordinary to discuss when things are lopsided or unfair.

It is ordinary to be wrong or do something embarrassing.

Guilt makes what is ordinary into a pretend extraordinary.

Premature, falsely enlarged guilt erases a tremendous amount of authenticity. Too many people swallow their real feelings in order to “be nice, not hurt others feelings” which means they remain unknown. The price of silence creates inauthentic relationships that are stale over time.

Guilt is often anger turned inwards. Those who are afraid of anger as an emotional tool see it as exploding bombs and so they deflect. We are drowning in a culture that avoids & deflects as evidenced by the cowardly texting of disagreement, which prevents a more authentic dialogue addressing complicatedness.

In order to reduce inner stress from guilt, consider how to express yourself more honestly & quietly. Begin with small steps with the people you care for the most, they are the ones to be your most “real” self with. Think of this exercise as taking more ownership of who you are & how to get more of what you want in a relationship.

What people really want is to be truly seen & known.

When guilt is reasonable & not a source of stress it is about obligation. Though many people turn obligation into an exaggerated burden that is completely unreasonable. It is ordinary to draw a line in the sand and say enough when you are stretched to the limit.

It’s more than a little kooky to never say “enough” because guilt makes it feel impossible to do.

You would be less stressed if you are able to free yourself from exaggerated guilt.


About the Rhoda Mills Sommer



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