There is a huge difference between taking responsibility for something and feeling guilt or blame. While we are always on tap for the former we should never indulge in the latter. So, you are off the hook in terms of blame and/or guilt.
In order to change to more productive behavior, you have to understand that if you knew better you would have done better. In a sense you are innocence of wrong-doing. However, you are responsible in that you did do whatever you did. That is yours, no question. But if you view it as a result of not seeing you had options you can forgive yourself as you learn how to make better choices.
One of the things I’ve been using with my clients is a simple statement. It goes like this –
“That was the choice I made then and it’s okay. I’m learning to see better options.” In truth it is okay. How could you act differently from your old set of beliefs or world-views?
When we feel guilt for something we get mired down in shame for what we have done or said. It is very hard to get out of that stuck position. As humans we tend to focus on whatever takes our attention that make us feel negative emotions. It just pulls us and it’s hard to move out of that position. But, if we forgive ourselves and know it’s okay then it’s easy to move on to a better understanding of how our responsibility for our life works. Guilt never teaches anything positive. Nor does blame.
As humans we are constantly growing. If we don’t grow we begin to decline in some manner. We might produce illness or accidents or unpleasant situations. Any of those things occur as a way to get our attention. To let us know that we need to make a change and we need to do it now.
When we repeat patterns that don’t serve us, it’s okay. We just haven’t seen the lesson placed before us. It’s all okay. Eventually we’ll figure it out or we’ll do it next time around.
Many times, we make things a big deal that aren’t. Often whatever we feel bad about isn’t visible to anyone but us. However, we act as if the whole world is judging us. It’s not. People are concentrating on their own lives. So you were the only one holding yourself up as a bad example. It’s okay. Honest, it is. Let yourself off the hook. Instead turn your attention to what you would like to do better and learn it. And, it’s okay if you are clumsy doing something new at first. It’s really all okay.
My best to you as you learn it’s okay.
Dianne, Destiny Coach