Posts Tagged With: letting go of guilt

Day 1997: Showing Up

Showing up today, I notice that I wrote another post titled “Showing  Up”  at the beginning of this year.

I also notice there are twice as many likes showing up for that post than for my posts that have been showing up here lately. Much to my surprise, self-doubt and judgment are not showing up about that.

Here’s why this topic is showing up again today:

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Yesterday, in a therapy group, the people who showed up expressed appreciation and gratitude for others showing up.

Let’s see what other photos have been showing up on my iPhone.

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Beautiful sunsets keep showing up near where I live.

Because I have to keep showing up at Physical Therapy on Wednesday mornings at 7:30 AM, I only have time to thank you for showing up, here and now.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1921: It’s a shame

When you reach out to somebody clearly expressing a wish to connect and you consistently get nothing in return, it’s a shame.  I mean,  that’s not only an unfortunate and perplexing experience, it also triggers the shame response, which (according to Google) looks like this:

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(image found here)

When I experience the shame response, I

  • feel the urge to withdraw and hide,
  • try to figure out why there’s been no reaction to my attempts to connect,
  • remember that experiencing shame in response to perceived devaluation or rejection is a universal human reaction and that there’s no shame in shame, and
  • resolve  to reconnect more effectively — if not to the same person then to others.

What do you do when you experience the shame response to perceived devaluation or rejection?

I think it’s a shame if I don’t share my photos from yesterday.

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It’s a shame that the last image shows a color copy of a 20 dollar bill and not the real thing.

Here‘s “It’s a Shame” by The Spinners:

 

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Knowing that your input is important to others helps dispel the shame response.  Questions?  Concerns?  Suggestions?

It’s a shame if I don’t remember to thank all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 1800: GUILT — Why?

Why is this post titled “GUILT– Why?”

Is today’s post — on the 1800th day of consecutive blogging here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally — an examination of why we human beings experience guilt?

Why would I attempt a post of such sweeping scope on a morning when I have only 15 minutes to create it before I need to get ready for work?

Here’s why “GUILT — Why?” is today’s title:

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Yesterday, in my office, somebody was trying to figure out why they were experiencing increased feelings of guilt.  The conclusion was that this person was not getting enough sleep and was eating more sweets and carbs.

Why would lack of sleep and a less healthy diet cause more guilt?

I have no guilt about

  1. not answering my own questions in this post and
  2. sharing my other photos from yesterday.

 

 

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Just a reminder … I can find a helpful video on YouTube by searching on my post’s title.

Why should you feel any guilt about leaving (or not leaving) a comment?

GRATITUDE (for all who helped me create this post and for you) — Why?

Just because.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1672: Unlimited Capacity

I seem to have an unlimited capacity to see potential blog topics all around me.

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I also have an  unlimited capacity for

  • irony,
  • humor,
  • taking things out of context,
  • searching for meaning,
  • appreciation,
  • hope,
  • reminiscing, and
  • taking photos (even if my devices have limited capacity for storage).

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What do you have an unlimited capacity for?

These days, I’m working on limiting my capacity for

  • worry,
  • guilt,
  • shame,
  • judgment,
  • despair, and
  • fear.

YouTube seems to have an unlimited capacity for storing videos about EVERYTHING ( including reminiscing).


I also have an unlimited capacity for gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create this Unlimited Capacity post and — of course! — to YOU.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1367: What does “INR” stand for?

Because I need to take the drug Coumadin  (aka Warfarin) for the rest of my life after getting a brand new shiny mechanical heart valve exactly a week ago, “INR” is now an important abbreviation in my life.

So what does “INR” stand for?

Answer # 1: International Normalized Ratio.

Coumadin is a blood anticoagulant, and everybody who takes it needs to combine the right dosage of medicine with  consistent food choices in order to prevent both internal bleeding AND stroke, maintaining that all-important  International Normalized Ratio.

Answer # 2: I Need Rides.

In order to establish and maintain a consistent  ratio of medicine and Vitamin-K-containing food as soon as possible, I Need Rides to get my blood taken and evaluated. Because I just had heart surgery, I cannot drive. My boyfriend, Michael, who has been an excellent caregiver, also does not drive.  Therefore, I need to impose on others to to get me to blood tests and to cardiac rehab (starting in a week or two).

Answer #3: Independence Needs a Rest.

I am a fiercely independent person. People who have heart surgery and who have trouble asking for help sometimes have emotional as well as physical pain in the weeks after surgery. I must learn to put aside this need for independence  as I recover, and ask for rides and other things I need.

Answer #4: I’m Never Ridiculous.

Even though I may fear that I look and sound ridiculous as I recover, I don’t.

Answer #5: It’s Not Rational.

People recovering from open heart surgery sometimes have irrational fears (e.g., sneezing is going to burst the wiring of their sternum, one of their cats is going to infect their stitches,  or sex will kill them). These irrational fears are typical and fade as the days of recovery proceed.

Answer #6: Inconsistently Not Replying.

Because I’ve been so busy healing from heart surgery and making the long trip back from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to our home in Boston, I have not been able to keep up my previously perfect record in replying to all the comments in this blog. I hope my readers can forgive me.

Answer #7: Images Not Relevant.

When I just looked at all the images I captured on my iPhone yesterday — my last day at the amazing  Mayo Clinic in Minnesota — I am realizing that none of those  images are relevant to today’s blog post topic.

Answer #8: Irrelevence Now Rules!







Answer #9: If Needed, Respond!

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 59 Comments

Day 1199: Guilt

I could feel guilt about several things today, including:

  • taking this photo, yesterday morning,

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  • eating all of this, last night:

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  • taking only three other photos, yesterday:

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“Grief is not as heavy as guilt, but it takes more away from you.”
― Veronica Roth, Insurgent

“Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.”
― Voltaire

“I’ve got a bad case of the 3:00 am guilts – you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression and self-loathing.”
― D.D. Barant, Dying Bites

“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”
― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

“Calvin : There’s no problem so awful, that you can’t add some guilt to it and make it even worse.”
― Bill Watterson, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

“He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration.”
― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

 

I don’t want to feel guilt about not including the song “Guilt” by Marianne Faithfull.

What are your thoughts about guilt?

If you don’t leave a comment, would you feel guilt about that?

I feel no guilt, as I press the “Publish” button for this post.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 33 Comments

Day 977: Super Guilty

Yesterday, in a therapy group, people talked about feeling guilty AND super guilty.


Because I am guilty of having messy handwriting and super guilty of writing many themes on the white board during a therapy group, you might not be able to see “guilty” and “super guilty” in that photo.

I would be guilty of negligence if I did not tell you that the people in that therapy group were neither guilty nor super guilty of any crimes at all, even though they suffered from feelings of guilt and super guilt.

I would be super guilty of negligence if I did not explain that traumatic childhood experiences can cause people to feel guilty and super guilty, even though the experiences were NOT THEIR FAULT.

I was guilty of almost crying in group, yesterday,  as I listened to wonderful adults describe the on-going suffering caused years ago by awful parents and caretakers.

I am super guilty of often wanting to cry in therapy groups.

I am definitely guilty of taking all these photos recently, although I don’t feel super guilty about any of them:


  
  
  
  
  
  
I feel neither guilty not super guilty about sharing this music, with the word “forgiveness” prominently featured:

Don Henley is guilty of singing, with all his heart,  “The Heart of the Matter” at the charitable event Farm Aid  in 1990.

Please don’t feel guilty or super guilty about anything you want to express about this post.

Pure thanks to everybody who helped me create this and to you — of course! — for reading and (I hope) letting go of unnecessary guilt, as best you can.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , | 33 Comments

Day 816: What fades, What stays

just now, when I looked at the images from yesterday that stayed on my iPhone camera, the title “What fades, What stays” stayed with me.

    

What images and words stay with you? What fades? What would you like to stay or fade?

What music should stay here, about staying and/or fading?

I believe that “Let’s Stay Together” and “Not Fade Away” are songs that will stay around for a long time, not fade.

One more thing before I fade away to work: I chose Trout Fishing in America‘s version of “Not Fade Away” because I saw them with my son a decade ago, and that memory still stays.

Staying thanks to all things that fade and stay and especially to you, for staying around here today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 602: Absolution

In this blog, I often write about letting go of guilt, shame, and fear.

I am not an expert on absolution, but I’m pretty sure that absolution is one way people let go of such things.

Here’s one thing  I do know:  “Absolution” is part of the title of one of my favorite Pat Metheny tunes:

(If you can’t play that YouTube video of Half Life of Absolution, try clicking here. If you don’t want to play it, consider yourself absolved.)

Let’s check Google for a definition of “absolution,” okay?

ab·so·lu·tion
absəˈlo͞oSHən
(noun)

formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment.
synonyms: forgiveness, pardon, exoneration, remission, dispensation, indulgence, clemency,
antonyms: punishment, condemnation

an ecclesiastical declaration of forgiveness of sins.
“the priest administered absolution”

Wow.  That sounds great, doesn’t it?  A formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment. That is EXACTLY what I’ve been thinking I need, as I prepare to return to work after a 10-day vacation.

Why do I need that? Are there sins I need to confess here?

Well, I do have one sin I committed last night before I went to bed. And as I was committing this sin, I was wondering (1) if I could forgive myself and (2) if so, how much time would it take for me to exonerate myself?

Perhaps we can all learn something, if I share this sin here.

Yesterday, our local supermarket had an unusual sale on Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

buy 2 get 2 free!

As a result, I got one of these.

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(image found here)

Even though I knew better, my jet-lagged brain, body, and soul chose to bring the entire pint of ice cream, with a spoon, into the living room, as I watched TV shows I had recorded during my trip to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Here is the result:

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(sigh)

As I was committing this sin last night, I was thinking, “Okay. Okay.  You can stop now. The more you keep going, the more you’re going to have to pay, in the future.”

I did manage to stop — as you can see — but  later than I should have.

During and after the sinning,  I knew I would be dealing with guilt — and other consequences — for some time.

I could not predict the half-life —  nor the full-life — of my absolution process, but I knew it would take some time.

Why wait, though?

I hereby formally release myself from guilt, obligation, and punishment for this sin —  granting forgiveness, pardon, exoneration, remission, dispensation, indulgence, and clemency.

I could keep feeling guilty about it, but … it’s done. Nothing is bringing that ice cream back, at this point.

I also wanted to tell you this: I was thinking about absolution yesterday, even before I committed the Sin of Ice Cream.  On the day before my return to work, I was thinking about my manager Steve’s words:

Ann, you really have a harsh superego, don’t you?

… which means I tend to blame punish, and condemn myself for mistakes and imperfection, especially regarding things that matter to me.

So, as I head back to the hospital where I work, I wish to make the following resolution:

To absolve, forgive, pardon, and otherwise treat myself gently, for inevitable mistakes and imperfection.

Hey!  That felt better than a half-pint of ice cream!

Thanks to Pat, Ben, Jerry, & Steve,  to people who absolve themselves or others as best they can, and to you — of course! — for the full time you spent here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , | 37 Comments

Day 551: A round of forgiveness

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I did two therapy groups before attending Boston’s unprecedented fireworks show for Independence Day, 2014.

In this post, I want to tell you a little more about one of those groups.

A theme that emerged in that group — as people thought, spoke, listened, and shared — was forgiveness. About mid-way through the group, I suggested a new exercise, which people agreed to try. People took turns, naming and describing things they wished to forgive themselves for.

I found this exercise healing and moving. Today, I would like to continue it, here.

I’ll go first!

When I was in my early 20’s, I became very depressed, for many reasons. Today, I would like to forgive myself for becoming that depressed. Most importantly, I wish to forgive myself for getting  very angry at my parents, during that difficult period.

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I choose to forgive myself for expressing that anger in uncharacteristic ways, which have lingered in my mind until this day.

Now, would you like to take a turn?  It’s up to you, of course.

Before I end this post, I could continue forgiving myself, for things like:

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  •  repeating myself in several ways here (including linking to the same post twice), or
  • startling Oscar, with an unexpected noise

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… when I was scanning that photo of my parents.

However, I think I’ve done the major forgiveness work, for today.

Thanks to my dear departed parents, to people who forgive as best they can, to parading (and/or sensitive) creatures everywhere, and to you — of course!*– for participating here, today.


* I was going to write, in this footnote: “Forgive me for using ‘of course!’ so often in my thank you’s, for perhaps overusing exclamation points, and for any other writing trespasses against you.”  Then I realized, again, it was in me … to forgive myself.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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