Guilt.....What a uncomfortable and powerful feeling. It's hard for me not to act on my feelings of guilt and by that I mean try to bury them under food. I want to eat when I feel guilty. I know it doesn't made sense to anyone who has a healthy relationship with food, but to other compulsive eaters or food addicts, they understand what it is like to try to fill up the empty with food.
I hate to admit it, but I often feel a lot of guilt. I always have. I'd love to blame my parents or the different Christian teachings I grew up with or that I was an oldest sibling, but honestly I don't think it really matters anymore why I feel guilty at the drop of a hat. What matters in my life now, is that I look at it and feel it and work through it - without eating.
I went through a very depressed period in my life after my little Arlo Edward died - years of worsening depression that ultimately resulted in a suicide attempt. I've healed a lot from that experience - my depression is under control through the use of meds and some intense therapy - I've even healed enough that I don't need the therapy anymore; I like to say I graduated ;). There is however, residual guilt over this period in my life. I was not a good mother when I was in that deep dark place and I was not a good wife or friend. I lost my 2 closest friends during that period and I feel guilt about all that.
But......I'm working on it - I have the tools now - thanks to therapy and OA and my lovely shaman teachers - to work through this guilt. In my head I know I have nothing to feel guilty about - I was sick and the final waves of consequences from that time were bad - really bad - but I can't take responsibility for other peoples actions or continue to beat myself up for something that was out of my control. I didn't mean to get so sick - it wasn't something I chose and when I realized how sick I was I got help and began to heal. As a matter of fact, I was already in therapy when the suicide attempt happened. I talked to my therapist about it because I knew I needed to and with her help spent a week in the hospital (yes a psych ward) until I was no longer a danger to myself.
So, now I have many tools to help me with my guilt. I now no longer eat to try to numb myself to it - thanks to OA - so I sit with it and deal with it and use my tools to try to get over it. I think it shows my selfish side trying to take responsibility for stuff that's not mine - feeling guilty for other peoples actions can be seen as selfish or at least self centered. I don't want to be that person. I want my heart to be filled with compassion and love, not guilt and darkness.
I'm a work in progress, so I've not conquered all my feelings of guilt, but I'm working on it. That's what matters; growing as a person to who the Universe has called me to be - listening, working at it, letting go, moving on, praying, meditating all help me to get over my guilt. Because right now, in this moment, I really have nothing to feel guilty about and that, my friends, is progress.