A Lifetime Of Guilt

Do you feel guilty? I know of someone who is wracked with guilt and has been for years.  I struggle to understand this.

If you feel horrible about something, why not address it?   Why spend ten or twenty years, guilt-ridden when you can just pick up the phone or drive across town or whatever it is you have to do to relieve yourself of the guilt?

I’m thinking that an apology is free and easy and if you can’t come up with one, does it mean that you like the guilty feelings? I am beginning to think this is the case.  It’s like some people want drama in their life and will create it one way or the other.  Some people are attached to their guilt.

Neptune rules guilt in astrology. It like burning yourself as the stake for weeks, months, years or decades, it serves no one.  It’s no fun to witness, that’s for sure.

If you are prone to this, here’s my question:

If you feel bad about something, and know you’re wrong, why don’t you act to put it right?

Pictured – Gauguin, Human Miseries and Eve: Don’t Listen to the Liar (Breton Eve), 1888

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A Lifetime Of Guilt — 27 Comments

  1. I tend to feel guilty and worry excessively, about things that are not even my fault even. For me its like bad early programming that I haven’t quite broken free of.
    I guess it might be my saturn in the twelfth, but I really don’t know for sure.

  2. Catholic Guilt – Even if you didn’t do something you’re just sure you did. Coulda Shoulda Woulda You’re always bad.
    You have to forgive yourself first.

  3. Well, it’s nice to know that there’s at least one Neptune influence I am not effected by. I don’t wear guilt comfortably and am quick to apologize and make things right.

  4. I experience guilt. But I do not sit on it. As a matter of fact, I can’t sit on it. I have to do something about it because I refuse to allow it to eat at me forever. I can’t bear it.

  5. It is rare, but there are certain instances where it is better to admit that someone is guilty than to think an apology will suffice to address the issue. Everyone can apologize regardless of sincerity. What about making things better for both parties?

    I genuinely think that it is fair to suffer for a while if I did something horrible, and I accept the guilt if I was at fault. I will then try to live my life better knowing this. I don’t agree with people who think it’s a wash if you apologize. Plenty of folks do that now, and where do we expect them to learn to use their conscience under an environment like that? Forgiven in advance? That’s not fair to the people who were hurt.

    It makes more sense to know when you are guilty and not do it again to anyone else than to impose yourself on other people just so you can feel better.

  6. I feel that if someone is a parent, guilt comes with the job description ! When my ex burned down my world, and then turned around a died two years later; I was nearly consumed with guilt ! After all, my kids were innocent, and didn’t deserve to live with the hardship I was experiencing; or to be growing up without their father. There wasn’t a damned thing I could have done before or after the fact, to affect a different outcome; but I was still in therapy for nearly three years anyway.

    My mantra for when I feel guilty over something my kids are going through is ‘It’s their Karma, too’. It reminds me that I’m really not in control of anything, as guilt I think, stems from control issues, in many instances.

  7. I feel guilty about being a horrible caregiver for my dead dad. For obvious reasons, I cannot apologize to him, and even when he was alive it didn’t really make a difference to do so. I was doing the absolute best I could in the situation and it was absolutely not good enough. There is no making up for that.

    Unfortunately, I’d be just as bad if and when the situation happens again. It literally takes all of my strength just to not run out of the damn room/throw up every day when I have yet another ill family member in need of care. It’s not acceptable to not be nurturing and self-sacrificing and not doing the physical care under those circumstances. I don’t know what I’ll do when my mom gets ill and I am the only option. I got lucky that my mom has always been higher up in the line of care than I have been, but what will I do when there is no one else to wipe the asses?

    So…that’s a situation where you can’t do anything to make the guilt feel better.

  8. I act as quickly and efficently as possible to get is back to right. I like a clean slate to move forward (and I like to move forward a lot) so I try to make sure stuff like this is not hanging over me. It has been brought to me attention that if I am struggling with guilt, it’s usually something that was out of my control in the first place. I did all that I could and I still beat myself up for not doing more, ugh!!!! At that point, I just have to let it go,
    Angie

  9. Whatever it is, it’s my fault, lol.

    I get projected upon, in a major way.

    To quote the “Hitchhikers Guide,”

    “RESISTANCE IS USELESS” so I just agree with the accusers and get it over with.

    Whatever it is, ofcourse it’s my fault. If nobody else can stand to take responsibility, I can.

    The buck does stop here. I sure as hell am not going to roll over and blame some other poor soul.

  10. Oh, it strikes me upon review that maybe this isn’t the same as guilt.

    To me it goes like this. I spill the milk, I am guilty of spilling milk.
    So I get to clean it up.
    Also, I have to go buy more milk to replace it.

    If I didn’t clean it up and buy more milk I would feel guilty. But to ask me to feel guilty for spilling the milk does not compute.

  11. I do feel a lot of guilt, even for things that are not my fault. I have a lot of Saturn, which I’m learning that Saturn makes you feel responsible. So if you feel responsible and things are not as they should be (perfect) I’m a double Virgo, I feel guilt because that means I’ve somehow failed. Does this make sense? Been trying really hard to let this go, but the voices in my head often times consume me.

  12. Interesting, I thought guilt was saturn. My venus in pisces I guess finds guilt interesting for a little while, but not much. I think it’s a type of malady, like depression. Some are just more prone than others.

  13. Wow, what a great post!

    I think about things like this all the time. There’s only one thing that makes me feel guilty in the heaviest way, and that’s the way my whole marriage/divorce went down. I blame myself every single day about the dimise. I’ve forgiven him, but I have not forgiven myself. At the time, I was completely blind to that fact that because I was young, depressed, and co-dependent on my family, I took it all out on him. There are moments where I want to do it all over again, and then there are moments where I get mad at myself because I know there is so much more I could have done to prevent the split. Then I think if it was meant to be, then it was meant to be.

  14. guilt is an excuse, just like shame, to avoid true responsibility. to remain unconscious, and none-the-wiser.

    to wallow in guilt is to deny the possibility of redemption. and if you do not see yourself as redeemable, it is unlikely you see anyone or anything as redeemable.

  15. @citygirl1980 is there something you can do *now* about it, or not? Things like that make me wonder.. And sort of prove the point that elsa was trying to make I think. I feel like taking it a step further, and saying that guilt is a perversion of consciousness.. but what do I know..I’ve certainly been *guilty* of this lol there is definitely a loss felt, when you resolve the guilt, and also I see it as a way to avoid consequence.. Neptune, that slippery devil. Difficult to grasp, is guilt ever a fair consequence? I used to ne ver, ever feel excess guilt.. But I had little seemingly karmic accidents allll the time. So now that I am often racked with guilt.. I don’t. But I literally sit at home and wallow in it. So pick a poison maybe? Saturn or neptune, hmm? Is one stronger or better than the other?

  16. what if you have had no way of contacting them for years and something (hurricane) happened in their home town which very well may mean they may be dead?

    how does one apologize to the dead? i’m sure it’s not an uncommon problem…

  17. I don’t know the offense of the person cited in your story, but it sounds like it’s not a huge deal, so you may be right. Other than that, you have no idea what you’re talking about. None. Sometimes actions change lives. Sometimes actions end lives. If someone is even slightly responsible for actions that have caused irreversible damage, driving across town to say sorry does nothing for nobody. All you can do for someone that wracked by guilt is hold their hand and let them continue to grieve, which is what guilt comes down to, in my opinion.

  18. Ah, there in lies the incidious twist with pathological guilt you are never off the hook. It goes on and on, spreads like a cancer until it’s everywhere. It seems an emotional issue.

  19. Well some things can’t be put right. I personally don’t think that’s how guilt is eleviated anyway. Maybe in the short term but ultimately the key to dealing with guilt is to understand that we are not God. We are not supposed be perfect. I think guilt is the height of arrogance. It’s lacking in humility. So maybe in that way making it right is the more humble thing to do but it’s still kind of a power thing. Of course, if you can make it right then you should. But there’s another level of humility that needs to be reached to really be free from it.

  20. Some things aren’t as easy as just apologizing. I have a few family members who are in such complex situations in their lives that I cannot do anything for them but my prayers and love. I can’t even bear to be with them in the same room for long because of that. I used to feel intensely guilty over them, like I’m somehow responsible for it (Saturn sq. Moon) when in reality, I’m not at all and I cannot solve their issues, though I’ve tried my best in the past and only had it thrown back in my face. Even with that reality check, there still remains a little pit in my stomach that eats away but I can’t want something more for them than they want for themselves. But a healthy relationship requires at least a somewhat healthy transference of energy but with these relatives, it’s a maladaptive codependency at best. My first chakra has been alerting me to these family of origin issues lately… I really need to let the guilt go. Desperately.

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