“Guilt was never a rational thing; it distorts all the faculties of the human mind, it perverts them, it leaves a man no longer in the free use of his reason, it puts him into confusion.” - Edmund Burke


Guilt Drags you Down

You Can Change Your Feelings

The Problem with Feeling Guilty

Religious Guilt

Controlling Others

Self Imposed Rules


Coming Soon When we hit Labor Day, summer vacation is over!!

Welcome back from the summer break. – and if you’re like me, I regret having to get back to the daily pressures – self imposed or otherwise. One of the huge self-imposed pressures that we have is guilt.

When your kid does drugs, You blame yourself. What did I do wrong? Guilt When your partner breaks up with you? Again you say what did I do wrong? Guilt When your wife pleaded that you don’t play golf next weekend and you lie and go anyway, - more guilt.

To start things off for fall, this newsletter is about guilt

Guilt Drags You Down

Guilt causes anxiety. It keeps you feeling low. You can lose sleep, develop ulcers, obsess about what you did or didn’t do, in other words, it can consume you. Punishing yourself does nothing except bring you more suffering.

You Can Change Your Feelings.

Guilt is a feeling, an emotion. And as with any other emotion, you’re in control. The only one responsible for feeling the way you do is you. Think about it. You send this message to yourself, telling yourself that you did wrong, and you should suffer because of it. Think about it. Are you really a bad person or did you simply do wrong?

The Problem with Feeling Guilty

Feeling guilty makes you feel bad and no one wants that uncomfortable feeling. So, the first thing you’ll do is make yourself feel better. So, if you’re a compulsive over-eater you’ll eat (and it’s never a healthy food that’s for sure). If you escape into drugs, or alcohol, or sex to avoid feeling bad, that’s exactly where you’ll go. You may beg, cry or do whatever, to get the relationship back – even if deep down you know it would be better to split up.

Religious Guilt

All western religions have rules that must be obeyed and if you have strong beliefs, nothing can make you feel more guilty than breaking the word of God. You’re a sinner. But guilt is not atonement. It will not make things better. That’s why all Western religions also allow you to confess and be absolved of your sins. Why? Because guilt keeps you in check, but it also keeps you from moving on.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should sin, lie, or commit crimes. You can’t change what you’ve done. What I’m saying is that what’s done is done. Regret what you’ve done. Learn from it. Grow from it. And be mindful not to do it again.

Learn to turn your thoughts around Controlling Others.

What did I do to make you act like that? Wow!! That’s a guilt trip. It’s implied that you are the cause their pain and suffering. I know of a situation where the teenage son didn’t call home and came in way past curfew. When he finally came home, he found his mother in bed, sobbing. ‘How could you do this to me? You’re killing me by coming in at this hour.’ Needless to say, this boy would feel very guilty if he didn’t call and mom would have her way.

Self Imposed Rules

When you’ve set strict rules for yourself and don’t reach your goal, you feel guilty. Why? Because you tell yourself you ‘should’ have done it. Perfectionists always feel guilty unless they live up to their demands.


“Guilt is the price we pay willingly for doing what we are going to do anyway” Isabelle Holland

Make a resolution to learn from your mistakes.

Think before you jump into action

Make amends and correct mistakes.

Stop condemning yourself wishing things were different.

Remember that guilt is unhealthy and adds to depression, low self-confidence and obsessive thinking.

Change the emotion of guilt to regret. Correct your mistakes and move on.

If you have a question or wish to add a story to help others, tell me and with your permission you can

share it in the zine.

If you have a personal question about this or a related issue, feel free to send me an e-mail and tell me about it Just a Note

There will be no August issue of the Powerful Living e-zine, because I'll be on vacation. But we we'll resume in September, when the topic will be 'guilt'.

I also want to thank you for the many ideas, comments and suggestions that were sent to me. I appreciate hearing from all of you.

Wishing you a safe, relaxing summer!!


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