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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Guilt and Shame: Stuck in the Muck

So many of you feel so guilty for "letting us down". You did not let us down.  

Kate was working with a client who was being admitted to a nursing facility. The day the family brought in their elderly mother for care was a hectic one. The woman was not safe at home and the family made the decision to have the staff at a nursing home watch her 24/7.  They thought they were doing the right thing -- and from a planning perspective, they were!  

Everyone was gathered around the nursing station, shaking and hands and making introductions. The woman was sitting in the group in a wheelchair while all this was happening. As the family was giving the nurse specific admission information, CRASH!  Down went the lady onto the tile floor! Rushed immediately to the hospital, she had broken her hip.  Even in a facility designed for prevention, accidents can happen.  It took one split second.

Look at how much guilt can occur in this situation.  Kate - for making the recommendation for a plan of "prevention".  The family for "abandoning"(this is a whole other post some day) their loved one. The staff for "allowing" it to happen. Perhaps with all this cycle of guilt the lady herself might have felt guilty for falling and creating all this guilt!  What we do, TO OURSELVES.

We can find reasons to feel guilty everywhere but it doesn't help anything. Things will be what they will be and the only thing we can do is manage our attitude and our response to what happens to us. If you continue to feel guilt and shame, it will create a wall between you and the one you love. Your guilt will leech out and taint the way you see yourself and everything around you. 

Guilt is not real, it is an illusion and it lives only in your own mind. If we meet someone else who embraces guilt too, then the game begins... you only weaken each other, trying to place the blame for your pain on someone else. It actually works for a little while! You can even play the Guilt Game with yourself.  The innocent pure part of you points the finger at the part of you that you judge to be BAD, guilty, wrong, selfish. It may sound strange, but you can actually create a "relationship" with another part of yourself. Then you focus on that instead of on the pure part of YOU. 

It is defense mechanism, guilt. It feels easier to be angry and point the blame than to feel the incredible undiluted sadness of loss. It may feel easier to point a finger, but it keeps you in Denial and delays your healing. As long as you are looking at someone else, you are not looking at yourself. If you are not looking at yourself, you cannot heal your pain.  

We can be destroyed by guilt and shame, but we are all healed by LOVE. Once you center yourself and see things more clearly, you can finally begin to heal. Instead of looking at Who's to Blame, focus on the love and focus on the fact that you did the very best you could under the circumstances.


2 comments:

Susan J. Stein said...

That is so beautiful, will share @Dogs Matter 1 and @All I Need's A Little Love In My Life!
Thank you both for all you do!

Kate McGahan said...

Thank you for sharing Susan. It helps us to reach more people who need to heal from their losses -- both four legged and two legged. Thank you for spreading the message through your wonderful sites!