We all experience guilt; for something we did or didn’t do, said or didn’t say. It’s a natural part of being human. However, when guilt is an overriding presence, it can be detrimental to your well being. In a breakup or divorce, guilt is often present. How you handle it can make a difference in the process of going through it, healing, and in your recovery.
In Part 1 we’ll discuss types of guilt and the first 3 steps to handling guilt. In part 2 we’ll explore how to release guilt and let yourself “off the hook.”
Two Types of Guilt
a. Situational Guilt
This is when your feelings of guilt are related to a specific situation or circumstance. For example, a person may feel guilty about having been too critical of their partner/spouse, for not having paid enough attention to the relationship, about having had an affair, or how the ending of their marriage may affect their kids.
b. Patterns of Guilt
This is when you have a pattern of feeling guilty regardless of the context. This means that one of your “default” ways of being is to feel guilty. If you look over the course of your life, you will see that the situations may have changed however, guilt is usually an over riding theme.
This can be a result of a religious upbringing that centers around guilt, a parent who may have blamed you often, or someone caused you to feel guilty if you didn't do what they wanted.
In a breakup or divorce, people with patterns of guilt may feel this even stronger. They interfere with the healing process and/or can hinder divorce negotiations
Therefore, when I work with clients on their patterns, we explore and breakdown the guilt structure. We replace it with practical tools and techniques which results in positive change. This becomes transformational for every area of their life.
7 Steps to Handling Guilt and Breaking Free
1. Differentiate your type of guilt
Differentiate whether yours is situational or a pattern. Patterns of guilt require more inner work as do patterns of worry and fear.
When I work with clients on their patterns, we explore the structure, practice new techniques and create more positive ways of being in life which is transformational in every area of their life.
2. Explore the Factors
Explore the factors that contributed to the breakdown of your relationship or marriage.
What were the dynamics between you and your partner?
What did you do or say, not do or say that you would change now if you could?
3. Allow your Feelings
Feeling sad, regret, or remorseful is a helpful part of the healing and learning process so allow it, with compassion for yourself.
Check our blog soon for Part 2 ofGuilt - The emotion that disempowers and how to move beyond it
Cheryl Lazarus, is a Breakups and Divorce Coach and Relationship Specialist who helps people move thorough the challenges or a breakup or divorce more successfully.
She has years of expertise in helping people to break negative patterns, process their to heal and recover from a breakup or divorce. For your free strategy session please contact Cheryl at http://www.easiertransitions.com/For-More-Information.html