Do you ever say something or do something and then not long afterwards think, ‘Why did I do or say that? or ‘Why did I say it like that?’ Do you second guess yourself even when no one else is second guessing you? Do you obsess over what you believe you ‘did wrong’ or ‘could have done better’? Replaying the situation over and over again in your head wishing you could go back and change things?
If you do, I feel your pain and I am here to tell you that you don’t need to live like this anymore. I have lived like this for a long time and just recently realized it is affecting my health and my relationships negatively.
…So, I decided to find out why I do this and learn what I can do to change!
I think it is good to evaluate situations we have been in to gain insight and find possible improvements for future situations. However, doing this with almost every action we make or conversation we have and obsessing over it is not healthy! I discovered that I am living in a constant state of guilt, but it’s not a healthy guilt…the guilt I have been living with is false and harmful.
One of the things I have probably said the most in my life is “I’m sorry”. I tend to apologize for a lot of things, and most of the time it’s things that don’t warrant an apology or things that weren’t even my fault. I tend to shy away from conflict and I like to please people, so I am constantly worried if I have upset someone or if I have said something to offend them and potentially damage the relationship. I am always worried about being accepted.
In my quest to find answers, I discovered there are 2 types of guilt: real guilt and false guilt. Real guilt is beneficial and is an important part to personal responsibility and living a righteous life for God. The other is false guilt and is very unhealthy and this is what I have been carrying around for many years.
In my research, I came across a wonderful 4-part series from Focus on the Family by a man named Paul Coughlin. This series of articles really helped me grasp what has been going on in my life. The articles have helped me understand the difference between the two types of guilt, reconcile why I carry false guilt and what has been keeping me from living a life of freedom in Christ.
In the article, Healthy Guilt vs False and Harmful Guilt, Paul says “People driven by false guilt often feel that they have to go through life perfectly so that they can avoid criticism and disappointing others.” Sadly, this statement describes exactly how my life has been for as long as I can remember.
If any of the things I have described above resonate with you, please check out Paul Coughlin’s 4-Part Series Living Without Constant Guilt.
Also, if you found any of this information helpful, please share. This is a major breakthrough in my life and I hope that the things I am learning will help someone else reach their breakthrough a lot faster than I did. I will blogging more on this topic in the weeks to come.
Thank you & God Bless,
Hi! My name is Mandy Jo.
Thanks for visiting my blog! Being a mom in this modern age is a blessing, but no cake walk. So many expectations are imposed on us and it can be overwhelming and often discouraging.