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guilty conscience

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How does one make feelings of guilt go away when they cant change what happened and the consequences are irreversible.

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Thats a hard question.

Everyone needs to find their own answer to that one.

For me it was a combination of the above, coming to the conclusion that guilt is basically a wasted emotion as you cant change the past, and accepting that every action, positive or negative, you have taken up to this point contributes to the whole that you are now and makes you what you are at this point.

You can only change things going foward. If you are unhappy with past decisions all you can do is recognise that and strive to do better in the future.

Hope you find your answers and are able to move foward in a positive way.

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There isn't an easy answer but the fact that the feelings exist confirm that you are not happy about something you have done (obviously) I think a good start would be to think hard about what has happened and if you feel bad, apologise to whoever got hurt. own your mistakes, accept and acknowledge that you were at fault and do what you can to make an honest and open apology with no strings attached. Don't expect forgiveness straight away.

Also don't get caught up in it and give yourself a hard time. try to move forward with this experience guiding your future decisions.

good luck, these are good emotions, not nice ones. But good ones.

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My experience is if what you've done is a 'big thing', you can't ever make the guilt go away completely. All you can do is learn from the mistake, do what you can to make amends, and live with the guilt.

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As one who has long been accustomed with this thing we call guilt, there have been a few things that really helped the healing process.

1. End patterns of avoidance and distraction. These are self destructive and are most pronounced when you are dealing with guilt.

2. Honesty. A confession of sorts is sometimes very cathartic, and it doesnt have to be to another. You can literally have a nature walk, meditate, take a spiritual entheogen or whatever, with the intention of seeking the complete vulnerability of true honesty with yourself. Make that confession to yourself without embellishment, without excuses, without blame, without judgement. Yes, speak to yourself, or write, or mumble and think the words, it doesn't matter. I dont know your belief systems but it helps to approach this as if you are communicating with your spirit, or your higher self, or whatever you want to call it. If you believe in a collective unconscious you can also try speaking to the spirit of the one(s) you hurt in the past, also without any excuse or judgement, just raw expression.

3. Grieve. The person you were is not the person you are this moment, and the 'now' is really all that matters. You need to forgive your former self, and let go, as you would a dying friend. We dont think about all the bad shit a mate did when hes gone, we cherish the good. Your former self deserves the same peace. I avoid saying forgive yourself because forgiveness implies a wrong doing. If you are stuck in this mode of thinking, you are bound by regret. You need to accept who you were with understanding, and then grieve, for this person is not who you are now.

4. Direction. Once you've let go of the self hate, you need to create meaning. If your life is feeling unfulfilling, the familiar spectre of guilt is often your first visitor. Look at what you are truly passionate about, not what the expectations of others dictate, and pursue it with everything you've got.

Personally,

Ive done 1, 2, and 3 but I'm still struggling at 4. That last one requires you to love yourself, so you actually give a fuck about what you do and who you are. I guess it has to be unconditional.

Take care, you are still here...

Edited by Conv3rgence
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Check out Teal Swan's take on it. She's an incredible speaker/thinker...

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Do good things in your life in general, bring it all back into balance...

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For myself having done stupid things in the past, is accepting my mistakes as being MY mistakes and learning to forgive myself, reminding myself when those feelings of guilt creep up again that I have accepted them and then doing my best by moving forward,, focusing on the good of others and within myself. It's all character building. Habits are hard to break, but we can start with noticing our own behaviours and creating new pathways for our peace of mind.

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I went through a mental exercise last year when my life reached a crisis point. I wrote down the names of everyone that I could remember ever having done wrong by, even the smallest things. Then one by one, I went through the process of asking their forgiveness. This is a mental exercise, you don't need to actually ask the person themselvea as most of them won't be in your life anyway. But the act of doing this can remove a lot of the weight you are carrying.

Then I went through the opposite which is to mentally confront anyone who had caused me pain, and reclaimed that energy. You can do this as a visualisation exercise if you are that way inclined- like imagining all of these bad mental connections as plugs with leads. Once you have visualised the connection, you unplug it from yourself. It doesn't have to mean that you are cutting off people who remain in your life, you are just unplugging a negative connection and you leave the positive connections attached.

Anyway, I found this helped me a lot at the time, but it may not be for you. It's worth a try.

Edited by Glaukus
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Do good things in your life in general, bring it all back into balance..

^ THIS

I did some fckn really bad shit when I was younger. Ironically those experiences have been useful for others and myself.

Strive to do the best you can do, even if you fail get up and start again.

EDIT - It may not feel like it but guilt is a good thing, I've rolled with guiltless psychopaths and witnessed

the endless carnage they can dish out on civilians.

Edited by waterboy 2.0
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Lots of good advice in this thread, better than I can put into words.

Only thing I've got to add is that being a kind and compassionate person doesn't just apply to your behaviour to others. It also involves being kind and compassionate to yourself :)

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wrong doing's will always carry guilt. There is always a cost to pay. Sometimes that cost cant be payed in this lifetime. Sometimes, perhaps, it can. I'm glad I've almost always payed up front throughout my lifetime, by being the honest person i naturally am.

Thus, I'm guilt free =)

as far as your question goes "make feelings of guilt go away?" You cant "make" anything go away.. Looks as though it's time to make a sacrifice of yourself, to get to the heart of the issues. Learn from your mistakes and move forward. In short, You must accept what you've done wrong, just as you will accept any payments that must be made. By payments, I don't refer to simply "money".

In this life i have learned NOTHING goes away, till you accept and deal with it. All the best matey =)

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I can only offer one bit of advice
Stop caring

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I can only offer one bit of advice

Stop caring

I dont think thats a good thing for you or people around you in the long term.

All you can do mate is move on and learn from it. to me thats what life is all about.

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Observe your actions. Don't look at them as "good" or "bad", only look for the reasons behind them.

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Without us knowing what your feelingsof guilt are about, it's dif to offer any advice, specially if u can't change it, it won't go away etc......

Then its actually very difficult to respond with out being patronising or just supplying lip service

I can only offer one bit of advice

Stop caring

Works for me, especially when the people involved arnt worth the worry or concern to care about in the first place.

N it's usually these people thet get so up in arms when you cut the off as they don't realise it's for your own sanity and not to insult them.

Edited by olive
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Observe your actions. Don't look at them as "good" or "bad", only look for the reasons behind them.

This is a big point, its reflected in my earlier post. The sooner you remove judgement, the better. Understanding the why and the how of our actions in the moment is important. However, blame and judgement can trap us in the memory of that moment.

Edited by Conv3rgence

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.

Edited by Change

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I chose not to forgive someone for hurting me,

She was really unstable at the time and i shouldn't have held her actions against her.

The last message she sent to me said "i really need a friend" which i ignored.

I couldn't be that friend anymore, id suffered so much pain from her mental instability and paranoid attacks so i decided her life was her problem to fix and not my own.

12 months after she last messaged me, she chose to end her life, one week before her birthday. Now im left feeling like if i put my own feelings aside to help someone in need things might not have turned out the way they did.

Its currently approaching the one year anniversary of her passing.

Firstly, I am sorry for your loss and the pain you must have gone through. We all make our choices. Her choices are not yours to make, or your responsibility. I dont mean to be harsh, but blaming yourself for the free will actions of others is wasted energy. Remember her, honestly and without blame, and remember, she chose her path. Maybe she is 'happy' now, maybe she has found peace that she couldnt find in this world.

Not that it matters, but i feel that many wouldve done the same in your shoes. Guilt has no place here.

If you can in some way give yourself closure and say goodbye to her, you should. The simple act can be cathartic, even if its just talking to a photograph. Many believe that the spirit will notice such gestures. What you believe is up to you.

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On top of that good advise, given I'm known to lack tact and speak my mind. I will say this, because there is truth to it.

She is one hell of a bitch to do that to you.

It's easy to say "don't blame yourself, it's not your fault", harder to do though. Especially when your a "good soul" as I feel you are. This is where you willfully insert "Stop caring".

Am i correct in feeling that you (change) always go out of your way to help others, often if not always at your own expense? emotionally, physically and financially. Perhaps your at a point I'm at in life. Having to learn to not care in the right ways, at the right times. You don't have to help everyone.

Try, To give yourself a break.

There are many in this world with us that perhaps should suffer from guilt. You are NOT one of them. This I am sure of.

EDIT; I have a friend, from the Philippines who went through just that. He still struggles with it some 10 years later. He is also, one of the kindest, most wonderful people you could ever have the good fortune to meet and share some of your life with. It's hard to be meek. Trust me i know. It does leave pain, look how I'm seen.

DON'T PUNISH YOURSELF!

Edited by ghosty
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Maybe you need to feel that a much greater more genuine love is still there with you. Do yourself a favor. 5grams s.cubensis.

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Oh dear. Fuck I'm sorry that's the way things ended up Change.

The thing is that you can't really know why.. And you can't change the past. I feel the only thing one can do in this circumstance is acknowledge that she had a whole lifetime of factors and influences that led up to this.

Its really impossible to understand from her perspective why she made that decision, and since you can't know it may be wise to not personalise it. A lot can happen in a day, let alone 12months. I know your feelings of guilt can't simply be turned off, but there's a good chance that you were really one of the most positive forces in her life, while you were there. Being unable to be there for someone who had hurt you, and who had a high-likelihood of potentially hurting you more deeply is not wrong. It is uncomfortable to accept, but you have done nothing wrong by retreating. I think it best to simply remember the good that you were for each other while it was golden; and acknowledge that while you wish you had acted differently, really in the end that choice was hers and hers alone to make, and you are not to blame. In any way shape or form.

Remember the kindness and love that you did share. That may have been the only real experience of that she knew, one can't know, but connections like that are truly special, and I believe their value transcends time and space. You gave her the gift of your devotion and she eventually grew unable to receive that, this doesn't negate the fact that you gave this and shared the love and the time together that you did. But some of the most wonderful things in life are the most fleeting and enigmatic, stunning but perplexingly painful when they are gone.

'Hurt people hurt people'..

Much love. I have no idea really what to say or if I should say anything at all but I will say this cause I care about you. A part of me is angered deeply by suicide, for the eternal mark this leaves on the ones who loved them..this type of situation has affected a few people I care about lately, but in the end I see that anger is worthless in the face of such tragedy.

This world is a pretty unhappy place at times and instead of harbouring guilt or anger it seems as though it is more fruitful to just be focusing on looking out for another and ensuring we do the best we can in our lives.

Honour the lives of those who have gone before us by living our own lives in the best way we can.

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I'm really sorry for what's happened to you change - that's hard.

I haven't had something that drastic happen to me - not the last bit at least. But I have had to make similar choices as you did with someone who was deeply unstable and hurtful. In the end it didn't matter if they were responsible for their actions or not. If they were responsible, then what they were doing was wrong. If they weren't responsible, then my life was being damaged just as much and to no good purpose, because they were incapable of not hurting me.

As for wondering about what might have happened if you had done things differently - there's not much point. Maybe this would have happened no matter what you did. Maybe she'd be alive and unhappy as ever, but your life would be irreparably and profoundly worse than it is now. Even tiny decision can have a huge effect on your life, but it's very hard to know which way things are going to go at the time. You could not be expected to predict the outcome of your actions - which makes it hard for you to responsible for hers.

On that note, responsibility isn't all or nothing. For someone to be considered to have no responsibility for their own actions - that's pretty extreme. Were you responsible for everything that happened to her, or the choices that she made, in the 12 months you were out of contact? I think not.

Not that the fact this wasn't your fault will make you feel much better. These sound like tragic circumstances either way, so you certainly shouldn't be hard on yourself for feeling bad.

You can't change the past. But the future is wide open. Do something positive - maybe even something to help others suffering as your friend was. Not out of guilt, but because you're a good person who has empathy for others.

Edited by Yeti101
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