On Guilt

(from a post on Quora)

We all have our history. My negative self image was about coming out and then about hurting loved ones. It was about other things too.

I needed to stop thinking of myself as being responsible for everyone’s life. It wasn’t ok to suffer because I was afraid. It wasn’t ok to consider hurting them in other ways, like being driven to desperation and deep depression just because I thought I would hurt them. I was only responsible to treat myself as a person. Causing intentional pain, that would be bad, but pain as a result of being able to live a life, I needed to learn that we live with consequences.

I needed to stop blaming myself when people turned away. I lived with tremendous anger as people rejected me directly or indirectly for awhile. People would tell me that it’s them and not me, but I didn’t get it. I did not find peace until I understood this.

I needed to lose my anger at others for not fulfilling my expectations. Having expectations about others is a fine way to go through life disappointed, and when you think you can control them and can’t, self loathing can come out because they’re unhappy and if only I’d…

I needed to accept that I am a woman, and my kind of woman, not necessarily some stereotype of a woman. I needed to accept my beauty, my flaws, my waist that’s too big, and everything else.

I need to accept responsibility for my losses without guilt. Just because family members are gone from my life doesn’t make me bad.

As each step has fallen into place my life has become more peaceful, my conversations more normal and less about me and more about others and subjects of mutual interest. I wake each morning and go to bed each evening. Life is reestablishing a daily rhythm. It will for you too.

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