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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guilt No More...

                                    Along A Dark Path By Chris Peters

Guilt is a strange bedfellow. Ever been to bed with guilt? Not what I would call an enjoyable experience....Yet, I used to always lay in bed, wide awake for hours, racked with feelings of guilt. Naturally the best way to avoid that particular scenario, is avoid behavior that causes one to feel guilty. Easier said then done, eh? Yea, because let's face it, we are all human and we are going to make mistakes. I've learned it's what we do then, that makes the difference...

The most humbling yet rewarding way that I've discovered to avoid building guilt is simply to admit I made a mistake. Again, this one was MUCH easier said then done...why? Because my EGO doesn't like to admit that I make mistakes or said the wrong thing or jumped to an incorrect assumption, yada, yada, blah, get it. 

As I was looking at my behavior, after I got sober I realized that I rarely listened to what others were saying. This often led me to come to incorrect conclusions and often, based on that I would say or do something stupid or less then considerate. Later I would realize this yet I'd never go back and apologize or try to make things right.

And that is one way I would build up I posted earlier today, dishonesty promoted guilt. Hey, deep down I knew what I was doing was wrong. I did have a conscience, buried beneath the river of booze and mountains of drugs...but it existed, it was there all along. I knew I was a liar...yet I continued to lie...and feel guilty about doing so.

Today, simply the act of being true to myself, BEING ME...warts and all often eliminates a multitude of scenarios where in the past I would say or do something that in the end I would feel guilty for. When you aren't pretending to be someone or something your not, it is much easier to listen to what someone is saying.  

And ultimately, the simple act of recognizing when I have made a mistake or said something that hurt some one's feelings is key. That makes it possible to follow up that recognition with a simple, sincere apology... and that I have found is the best way to stay true to one's self. Be yourself...warts and all.

Most people don't expect you to be perfect. Yet as human beings, particularly in our society today, we seem to feel the expectation IS that we are supposed to be perfect...that couldn't be more untrue. People are most comfortable when they see that you are human, just like they are. We are all vulnerable and yep, we all make mistakes...

Is this a simplistic way of looking at it, yes I suppose it is. But it is a start...and you have to start somewhere, right? And since I was making wholesale changes to the way I operated (behaved), it was critical for me to lay the groundwork , the foundation as it were for a simple behavioral pattern called being just be ME.

Isn't it incredible that I had to go to so much trouble to unlearn all the phony behaviors I'd acquired through the years, twisted survival instincts really...just so I could simply learn to be myself. Yet that is exactly what happened in my particular case. Once that was done it was much easier to open up and share myself with others. If I made a mistake or said something I regretted...I didn't try to avoid the subject, nope I just admitted it, apologized and life continued on.

Honesty is a road to freedom from fear and guilt...


  1. Hard to do but has to be done. Keep up the good work. I love the change in u so far. L.U.

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