I wrote this piece just a little over two years ago. I was driving down the road from work thinking about what kind of day I had.
I had traveled 30 miles, but my mind blanked out and did not remember any of the sights in front of me.
When we have other things on our minds with, we all tend to see without sight. I was on a straight stretch, and it was 3 am. Very few cars if any were on the highway and I had my music up and my sunroof open.
When I realized that I didn’t see any of the past 30 miles, it triggered a thought. I am guilty. I am guilty of seeing without sight.
I am guilty of so many wrong things in life.
I pretend to listen and don’t hear what is said.
I act like someone is my friend when I don’t like them.
With my body language, I say one thing and have thoughts that are different.
I am guilty!
I am guilty!
I am guilty!
We are all guilty of something. I thought, “man, I am guilty of everything, all the time.”
When will the self-blame and guilt end?
How long will I make myself feel bad for all the things I do?
You might be like this also. You are your own worst enemy. No matter what you do or don’t do you find something wrong with all your actions.
You are kind to everyone and try to help anyone who asks for help. But after you do this, you always wonder if you did the right thing or did you say something that may offend someone.
Did you make sense, and were you kind enough? What if they think you were too blunt or too harsh?
What if they don’t like you anymore? Or maybe they will tell their friends how badly you treated them?
There are a million questions you can ask yourself to second guess what you have done. There are so many ways to make yourself feel more guilty.
Let me share with you what the other person is thinking and how it differs significantly from your thought process.
One of your friends came to see you and talk. She is having some problems on the home front and needed to vent a bit.
You sit and listen; you give feedback and encouragement. Your friend feels so much better once she visited with you.
Your friend is thinking about how wise you are. And how kind you are to spend time listening when she needed you so bad.
She forgot to thank you, but her gratitude goes beyond thanks for what you have done.
Do you see what you are doing?
You are tearing yourself apart with guilt over things that are not real. Your friend did not have the same thoughts you had, but instead, she was so thankful.
What will you do to stop this self-destructive guilt you insist on carrying around with you?
First, let me help you understand what guilt means.
Merriam Webster says the definition of Guilt is:
the fact of having committed a breach of conduct especially violating the law and involving a penalty
the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously
Now ask yourself, have I broke the law and did I knowingly commit a crime against another.
With the scenarios above, I would have to say the answer is no.
Why do you have these self-destructive thoughts all the time?
It is low self-esteem and low-confidence. I don’t know what may have happened to cause you to think so poorly of yourself, but it is time to realize what an incredible person you are.
You may need to get some professional help, or you can work on this issue yourself. It will take time to change the way you process who you are.
People do not criticize you and your actions the way you do. Most people are too busy thinking about themselves to give your actions care if you are kind and do not cause waves.
You are insignificant to them when it relates to how they think of you.
I know this is harsh, but once you realize that they are not thinking as critical of you as you are because you are not their primary focus it will change the way you process how you act.
Let us look at the situation again. You are in a group of 4 people talking. All of you are having a conversation about where you will eat and what movie you pick up to take home.
You all decide on Chinese, but they want to watch the latest horror movie. You can’t do scary, so you tell them this and suggest a couple of alternatives. You all agree on the same, and everyone is happy.
Then you start your usual thought process. I should have just watched the movie. What if my friends are mad at me? What if they never want to watch a video with me again?
But they think this is cool. We are going to have fun, and we will love this movie. Your friends don’t even give your fear of horror movies another thought. They are busy thinking of how much fun they will have.
You can find something to feel guilty about at any given moment. You pound on yourself and blame yourself for just about anything. The point of this writing is, you are not always guilty. You are your worst enemy.
You have to give yourself a break. Every time a situation like any of these arises I want you to put into action the thoughts of:
I have the right to make suggestions
I am a part of this group
These people don’t care that I want a different movie, and if they do not want to be my friend, then who cares.
Don’t conform yourself to fit the needs of others so they will like you. You are an incredible person just like you are.
Life has enough hard moments in it. You do not need to make it harder. And you do not need to make yourself guilty when there is no reason.
I need to make myself clear. If you do something to harm another person or their possessions purposefully, then you may be guilty.
It has taken me a lifetime to alter my thinking process. I hope that with this article you will be a few steps ahead of me. Just knowing that others do not blame you even ¾ as much as you blame yourself is progress.
Please trust me in this knowledge. I have experience the destructive thought process I conveyed to you, and I have overcome it. You are NOT guilty — you are human.