The Problem with Guilt Part 4: We Overcompensate

We feel guilty. We think we’ve done something wrong. We try to make it right. When we can’t make it right, we overreact. One of the ways we overreact is to overcompensate. In other words, we try to make things up. We can’t make it right, so we work to make it better. Oh, Boy!

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The Problem with Guilt Part 3: We Overreact

Let’s review: we say we feel guilty. Our brains process guilt with doing something wrong. If we have done something wrong, then we must work to make it right. Unfortunately, we haven’t REALLY done anything wrong so we find it’s impossible to make things right. Out of frustration, we simply try harder. And that is when we overreact.

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The Problem with Guilt Part 2: We Try to Make it Right

 

If we think we are guilty, then we believe we have done something wrong. When we do something wrong, we try to make it right. We make a mistake, we correct it. We break something, we replace it. We damage something, we pay to have it repair. These are all very cut & dry, very black & white. Unfortunately, most of the time when we feel guilty, we simply CAN’T make it right.
You see, we really aren’t guilty of doing anything wrong. And if we haven’t done anything wrong, then we can’t make it right. When we are unable to make things right, rather than giving up, we try even harder. And harder, and harder, and harder….. until we become incredibly frustrated.

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The Problem with Guilt Part 1: Guilt Implies We’ve Done Something Wrong!

I LOVE Law & Order. I watch it on one of the local stations every Wednesday & Thursday. I watch other crime shows as well but Law & Order allows me to see the police do their job & the prosecutors do their job. So I see courtroom action every episode. Most episodes, at some point, a judge asks the defendant, “How do you plead?” And they have to say Guilty or not guilty. Most of the time, they say not guilty so the show can continue rather than ending early! 😊

Funny how even the most guilty person pleads not guilty in the hopes they can get away with whatever crime they are accused of committing. Not so much with mommies. We tend to plead guilty over the most minor infraction. And most of the time, WE AREN’T EVEN GUILTY OF ANYTHING!!!!!

As I see it, guilt implies we have done something wrong. Not just wrong in our own eyes but wrong according to society standards. If a person cheats on their spouse, they are guilty of adultery. Not passing judgement here. Just saying this sort of behavior should be avoided. If a parent mistreats a. Hold, especially to an extreme, they are guilty of abuse. This is just NOT acceptable behavior.

If however you are unable or unwilling to buy your child the newest toy that EVERYONE has, you may feel bad but you should NOT feel guilty. You haven’t done anything wrong. Your kids may disagree but they would be wrong!

I believe most of the time we feel guilty, what we really are is afraid. We fear what others may think. We fear what they may say. We fear we might be harming our children. And to make matters worse, we going onto the court of public opinion, known as social media, and display our sense of guilt so other may judge us. And judge us they will. I have never seen so many glass house residents throw around so many stones! Perhaps it makes others feel less guilty when they judge others.

All I know is we need to stop calling it guilt. The more we tell ourselves,how guilty we feel, the more we reinforce our feelings of inadequacy & failure. Which only makes us feel more guilty, more afraid.

So, to begin this journey away from guilt, become more aware when you tell yourself how guilty you feel and, as Barney Fife would say, ” Nip it in the bud!”

Monday Motivation

Sunday Morning Prayer

Saturday Morning Prayer

Last Minute Instructions

This morning’s message for the kids at First Presbyterian Church of Orange. I had fun doing it. I hope you enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies

Today is a cool rainy day in SoCal so it’s perfect weather for baking. When flour is hard to find, make these delicious, & simple, cookies with cake mix!

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