How to stop feeling guilty (even if you screwed up)

And what if it isn’t about fault? Even if you really screwed up.

There’re a few words you need to read. Maybe you’ve heard them before:

God, give me Grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things
which should be changed,

and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
(Serenity Prayer, Wikipedia)

These words bring some sanity back. And you need some sanity to sort yourself out.

Some things cannot be changed. You can’t go back in time.

Instead, you can make the best from what you have.

You can_t go back in time (1)

In order to do that, you need to be sane, not overwhelmed by excessive emotions. Only then, can you see things as they are.

Only sane you can act on your life as an adult.

Adult, means to take responsibility for the consequences.
Adult, means to take your mistakes on the chin.
But it also means not to blame yourself for everything.

So let’s establish a few facts:

  1. There’s no chance you could bear all responsibility for the divorce.
  2. It is very hard to admit mistakes. But if you screwed up, you screwed up. And you need to take it as a man (even if you’re a woman).

You don’t bear all the responsibility for the divorce

The truth is, it’s not possible that your relationship depended entirely on you, even if you blame yourself (or someone else does).

Your part can only extend to fifty percent. Relationship is teamwork.

Like in tennis, you can’t play with yourself. You need another person to hit the ball back. So a relationship is always the responsibility of two adults. Both ‘players’.

Sometimes, indeed, people get into this viscous circle of regrets and resentments. The initial trust is replaced by bitterness. No one knows how it started, or whose ‘fault’ it was. It does not really matter though, because if it didn’t work out, both of you had a part.

Fifty-fifty.

Relationship is fifty-fifty. You and Ex.

Okay, let’s have a look at your fifty percent. No chance that all of your fifty percent totally sucked. No way!

Your relationship went on for… how many years? You two loved each other, had really good moments. Connection. You contributed the best way you we able to. It does count! Do not ignore it!

I bet those good moments were major part of your fifty percent. Otherwise, your relationship wouldn’t last too long. So what are we talking about here? How much of all relationship was really your fault?

How much did you really screw up2

Right, but there was something you could have done differently? What if you really messed up?

Okay, so you made mistakes.

Before you start blaming yourself, notice that many of our mistakes come from simply not knowing. If we knew we were making mistakes, who would?!

What counts now is to recognize them and admit you were wrong. And that is the hardest part, because it is not easy to admit you messed up. But you need to recognize and admit. No self-flagellation involved, but also no pretending nothing happened. Sane, remember?

What you need to do now is to get responsible for the part you really screw up and take it like a man.

In my first marriage, we played our toxic game for years. Neither of us was aware of what were we doing back then.

It usually began with a simple conversation. After all those years we were both so tense not much was needed. Distrust everywhere.

Neither of us ever accepted any responsibility for what we said or did. Guilty was the other one, always.

When I started to work on myself and when I realized I was responsible for my part in my relationship… oh God, I felt so ashamed! I was also surprised there was my part at all! And the worst thing was that I couldn’t put the blame on my ex anymore! It’s hard to recognize your mistakes but even harder to accept the truth!

Taking responsibility and accepting the consequences

Taking responsibility is not pleasant, to say the least. It might be shameful, it takes courage and determination.

It’s so embarrassing that people avoid it. It is understandable after all, I assume most of us don’t enjoy humiliation. So why would anyone face responsibility at all?

Actually, there’s just one reason. Whenever we avoid responsibility, we give away the control over our lives. The control for the situation we’re in goes to whoever/whatever we’re blaming: him, her, in-laws, economical situation, politics, fate, genes and so on:
Maybe your ex changes and you could be happy again. Or maybe not.
Maybe the economy grows and you get better-off. Or maybe not.
Maybe they find pills for being smarter, wrinkle-free and bigger boobs. Or not.

Taking no responsibility for this situation in your life means having no impact on your life!

responsibility = accepting not everything depends on us + doing the best we can with all the rest + accepting sometimes we make mistakes, because we’re humans

accepting not everything depends on us1

Really, what a math post today!

Sure some things don’t depend on us. But here we are again:
‘let me accept the things I cannot change
(…) and distinguish one from the other’

Meanwhile, when you take responsibility, you get the control back

And again:
responsibility = accepting not everything depends on us + doing the best we can with all the rest + accepting sometimes we make mistakes, because we’re humans (and improving here!)

Let me give you an example.

We fought a lot, my Ex and I. I was so tired of this, that when my marriage broke up, I decided not to do it again. I don’t mean not having different opinions, but big rows, screaming and fights. Enough is enough.

Easier said than done, though.

The first thing I had to do was to admit my part in these fights. That sucked, ’cause it meant I had to admit I really didn’t need to say all these things I did. And it meant I might have not been always right.

Shitty feeling.

Admitting you might be wrong is shitty, is shitty, is shitty. The ego-monster hurts.

But hey, Ex did not argue with himself, right? (although sometimes… really…) So liked it or not, I faced the inconvenient truth. I had done things wrong, and I decided to change.

Boy, how hard it was!

It took me aeons, but long story short, you know what? With my current partner, not only do we hardly ever argue, but my worst argument with him was like a gentle caress compared to the ‘regular’ fights with my Ex.

Making mistakes is okay. What is not okay, is NOT learning from them1

And that’s basically it.

Not everything is you fault because
not everything in life depends on you but
some things do and
when you try to do the best you can with them
you make mistakes because
it is a human thing so
then you learn from them and
change and
grow and
become such a beautiful person and
enjoy a fulfilling (not perfect) life!

A breakup is a very expensive lesson.
Learn it well!

What comes from your suffering if you do not use it to become a wiser person_

 


By the way, have you signed up already?

When you do, you get a freebie: ‘Make today the best day ever since you broke up’. It’s a hands-on mini-guide. So click here and change your mindset now!

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Published by

Monika

So… I am happily divorced! It was far from easy, even though I tried most of the self-help stuff on the planet. Now I want to share the coping strategies with others who are stuck in the pitch black tunnel. So you will know WHAT to do and WHY it will work. Check copeandlope.com Join. Cope. And lope. Into a better life.

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