Monday, November 20, 2017

Replacing guilt with compassion

Photo by Rachel Walker on Unsplash

GUILT is a common emotional response in the family context — parents for children, siblings with each other, children for parents, etc.
The core of the issue relates to when we cannot influence or control others and where we feel responsible for them. Correcting both these errors is about accepting the limitedness of our influence, that control ought not to be our goal, and that we cannot ever be responsible for other people — no matter who they or we are.
They have their own will and they will make their own mistakes, and who is to say we’re right in our judgments? Oh, the myriad times we thought, in our data-poverty, we were so right, when we were actually dead wrong!
The tenet of this advice is to come back to what we, ourselves, are responsible for.
We feel guilty on the one hand when we feel responsible for others, when we fail them, yet on the other hand we judge them when they don’t meet our expectations. Neither they nor we can win, and the relationship has the eventual object of losing and loss. Such a dynamic can only propagate negative attributions and emotions, where feelings of betrayal and bitterness abound.
It would be better to free ourselves and the other person/s, acknowledging we’re not responsible for them, nor are they responsible for us.
When finally we’re free of this burden of discharging an impossible or an unlikely duty, we’re enabled to feel compassionate. The taint of guilt is gone, and the love is enhanced.
Healing deep family wounds is about replacing guilt with compassion by understanding what we’re responsible for as opposed to whom we’re responsible to.
Love offers those we love the opportunity to make mistakes with our permission and blessing of compassion.

Replace guilt with compassion so judgment and condemnation can make way for peace.

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