Posted by: painreliefcoach | February 25, 2008

Let Go of Guilt

Many people with chronic pain feel guilty.  I did.  I must have done something.  If I were really a good person this would not be happening to me.  Is God punishing me for a past sin?  Am I just weak?  If I tried harder, did more, would this pain exist? 

Or is it that I am being selfish?  Others are in worse situations.  I felt guilty.  I felt sorry for myself.  I felt guilty others were in worse shape.  I felt guilty I hurt. 

Bertha is a 95-year-old lady with severe fibroymalgia. She was diagnosed about three years ago. Two years ago she was in a car accident, after rehab, she has been in a nursing home unable to improve to the point where she can go home and take care of herself. 

Bertha is very critical of herself. She is disgusted with herself for not improving. She feels guilty that she’s not doing everything for herself. She feels she still has to manage all her own financial affairs even though this stresses her. 

The more she pushes herself physically and beats herself up emotionally, the worse her pain becomes. 

Bertha is in the process of letting go of her guilt. She is increasingly accepting her health, her pain and her limitations. She is being easier on herself. She doesn’t feel guilty or responsible for everything. Many things are out of her control. She says the Serenity prayer daily. She is surrendering to her faith. She is finding the positive in herself and her circumstances. 

When I meet with Bertha now, she smiles and jokes. When she has a flare-up, she accepts that she can’t do as much. When she is doing better, she is fully enjoying every moment. 

Bertha tells me she is still working on letting go of her guilt. It’s a process. I see so much progress already. Things didn’t change, but she is. 

Guilt is destructive.  Guilt weighs down spirit.  Guilt stands in the way of progress.  Let go of guilt. 

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